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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African
by Olaudah Equiano
First published in 1789

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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or GustavusVassa, The African by Himself
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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or GustavusVassa, The African by Himself
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Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. And in that shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people. Isaiah xii. 2, 4.

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Sold also by Mr. Mathews. Murray. Strand. Mr. opposite Gray's Inn. (Entered at Stationer's Hall. Paternoster-Row. Bond-Street. 4 hh-bb. Mr. Newington-Causeway. Jackson. Mr.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Messrs. Mr. Robson and Clark. Mr. and Mr. South Arch. Fleet-Street. Taylor and Co. Mr. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Royal Exchange. Paul's Church-Yard. Messrs.) Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Murray. Davis. Chiswell-Street. Holborn. Soho. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Shepperson and Reynolds. Mess. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Mr.com . Oxford Street. St. and may be had of all the Booksellers in Town and Country. Lackington. Johnson. All rights are reserved. Button. Parsons. Or GustavusVassa. Prince's-Street.

has exalted the dignity of human nature. as the production of an unlettered African. May the God of heaven inspire your hearts with peculiar benevolence on that important day when the question of Abolition is to be discussed. 1789. pleading in ‘such a cause’. Union-Street. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. but these. March 24. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and the Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain. Your most obedient. To the Lords Spiritual and Temporal. Mary-le-bone.com . by its liberal sentiments. its humanity. or Gustavus Vassa. are to look for Happiness or Misery! I am. in consequence of your Determination. and its proficiency in arts and sciences. I ought to regard as infinitely more than compensated by the introduction I have thence obtained to the knowledge of the Christian religion. Permit me. with the greatest deference and respect. 5 hh-bb. I trust that ‘such a man’. All rights are reserved. Olaudah Equiano.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. when thousands. through the mysterious ways of Providence. My Lords and Gentlemen. but. will be acquitted of boldness and presumption. By the horrors of that trade was I first torn away from all the tender connexions that were naturally dear to my heart. the chief design of which is to excite in your august assemblies a sense of compassion for the miseries which the Slave-Trade has entailed on my unfortunate countrymen. I am sensible I ought to entreat your pardon for addressing to you a work so wholly devoid of literary merit. My Lords and Gentlemen. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and of a nation which. the glorious freedom of its government. Or GustavusVassa. to lay at your feet the following genuine Narrative. who is actuated by the hope of becoming an instrument towards the relief of his suffering countrymen. And devoted humble Servant.

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VI. cruelty. The author is carried to Virginia--Arrives in England—His wonder at a fall of snow – page 35 CHAPTER. and extortion – page 59 CHAPTER . The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. X. IX. The author's birth and parentage--His being kidnapped --Horrors of a slave ship – page 24 CHAPTER. All rights are reserved. I. The author arrives at Martinico--Meets with new difficulties. and sails for England – page 106 CHAPTER . Or GustavusVassa.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. their manners and customs – page 13 CHAPTER . The author's account of his country. Various interesting instances of oppression. XI. Three remarkable dreams--The author is shipwrecked on the Bahama-bank – page 96 CHAPTER. IV. Different transactions of the author's life--Petition to the Queen—Conclusion – page 149 Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Picking up eleven miserable men at sea in returning to England – page 133 CHAPTER. The author's disgust at the West Indies—Forms schemes to obtain his freedom – page 86 CHAPTER. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. A particular account of the celebrated engagement between Boscawen and Le Clue – pg 46 CHAPTER. III. II. Some account of the manner of the author's conversion to the faith of Jesus Christ – pg 118 CHAPTER . Favourable change in the author's situation—He commences merchant – p 72 VOLUME II CHAPTER. 12 hh-bb. XII. VIII. CONTENTS VOLUME I CHAPTER . VII.com . V.

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. nor is this the only disadvantage under which they labour: it is also their misfortune. That part of Africa. at whose request it has been written. and includes a variety of kingdoms. known by the name of Guinea. believed. from the Senegal to Angola. in wishing to avoid censure. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. that. I regard myself as a ‘particular favourite of Heaven’. I might say my sufferings were great: but when I compare my lot with that of most of my countrymen. and a stranger too. and every wish of my heart gratified. Of these the most considerable is the kingdom of Benen. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and their manners and customs--Administration of justice--Embrenche--Marriage ceremony. not a little hazardous in a private and obscure individual.com . I believe it is difficult for those who publish their own memoirs to escape the imputation of vanity. with the opinions of different writers on that subject. All rights are reserved. Or GustavusVassa. and. Let it therefore be remembered. in short. especially when I own I offer here the history of neither a saint. thus to solicit the indulgent attention of the public. or in the smallest degree promotes the interests of humanity. and the number and warlike disposition of the Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. which in a high degree excite either admiration or pity: all others they consign to contempt and oblivion. to which the trade for slaves is carried on. the power of its king. let my motive be some excuse for its publication. nor a tyrant. I am not so foolishly vain as to expect from it either immortality or literary reputation. If then the following narrative does not appear sufficiently interesting to engage general attention. It is therefore. those. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. CHAPTER I. I do not aspire to praise. and to charge the writer with impertinence. and acknowledge the mercies of Providence in every occurrence of my life. If it affords any satisfaction to my numerous friends. I believe there are few events in my life. 13 hh-bb. I confess. that what is uncommon is rarely. extends along the coast above 3400 miles. the richness and cultivation of the soil. if ever. which have not happened to many: it is true the incidents of it are numerous. and public entertainments--Mode of living--Dress--Manufactures Buildings--Commerce--Agriculture--War and religion--Superstition of the natives--Funeral ceremonies of the priests or magicians--Curious mode of discovering poison--Some hints concerning the origin of the author's countrymen. the ends for which it was undertaken will be fully attained. People generally think those memoirs only worthy to be read or remembered which abound in great or striking events. did I consider myself an European. both as to extent and wealth. a hero. and what is obvious we are apt to turn from with disgust. The author's account of his country.

was sometimes punished with slavery or death. a term. Those Embrence. that she had an infant at her breast. for which purpose they always assembled together. was conducted by the chiefs or elders of the place. 14 hh-bb. or chief men. although he was the son of a chief or senator. decided disputes and punished crimes. I was born. she was spared on account of the child. and so jealous are they of the fidelity of their wives. Some time after she is brought home to her husband. for kidnapping a boy. The men. Adultery. Their mode of marriage is thus:--both parties are usually betrothed when young by their parents. It is situated nearly under the line. and the history of what passes in one family or village may serve as a specimen of a nation.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and while it is in this situation applying a warm hand. while he declares she is thenceforth to be looked upon as his wife. and was styled Embrenche. which they expect from them. I remember a man was brought before my father. by cutting the skin across at the top of the forehead. as far as my slender observation extended. The proceedings were generally short. just before her execution. near 1500 miles from its beginning. for every transaction of the government. for they indulge in a plurality. and then Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and that no other person is to pay any addresses to her. though seldom in more than two. Most of the judges and senators were thus marked. and the other judges. This kingdom is divided into many provinces or districts: in one of the most remote and fertile of which. importing the highest distinction. Of this I recollect an instance:--a woman was convicted before the judges of adultery. This is also immediately proclaimed in the vicinity. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. to her husband to be punished. as the custom was. This mark is conferred on the person entitled to it. and seems only terminated at length by the empire of Abyssinia. named Essaka. inhabitants. and in most cases the law of retaliation prevailed. as I remember. a punishment which I believe is inflicted on it throughout most of the nations of Africa[A]: so sacred among them is the honour of the marriage bed. in the year 1745. Accordingly he determined to put her to death: but it being found. and the bride and bridegroom stand up in the midst of all their friends. and delivered over. who are assembled for the purpose. and drawing it down to the eye-brows. The distance of this province from the capital of Benin and the sea coast must be very considerable.com . (though I have known the males to betroth themselves). my father had long born it: I had seen it conferred on one of my brothers. on which the bride retires from the assembly. called Eboe. and signifying in our language a ‘mark’ of grandeur. The manners and government of a people who have little commerce with other countries are generally very simple. however. and rubbing it until it shrinks up into a thick ‘weal’ across the lower part of the forehead. nor of the sea: and our subjection to the king of Benin was little more than nominal. All rights are reserved. however. My father was one of those elders or chiefs I have spoken of. do not preserve the same constancy to their wives. for I had never heard of white men or Europeans. in a charming fruitful vale. On this occasion a feast is prepared. and. but runs back into the interior part of Africa to a distance hitherto I believe unexplored by any traveller. and I was also ‘destined’ to receive it by my parents. Or GustavusVassa. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. he was condemned to make recompense by a man or woman slave. and extends along the coast about 170 miles. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and no woman being prevailed on to perform the part of a nurse.

who play on them on all grand festivals. our luxuries are few. which are accompanied with songs and music suited to the occasion. The first division contains the married men. which dance either apart or in succession. This gives our dances a spirit and variety which I have scarcely seen elsewhere[B]. household goods. The assembly is separated into four divisions. whose property she is looked upon before marriage. and used in the same manner. and the representation of a battle. another feast is made. such as a triumphant return from battle. slaves. and is brighter and richer than any I have seen in Europe. besides which the parents of the bridegroom present gifts to those of the bride. and poets. of which we have many kinds. The young men occupy the third. which is celebrated with bonefires. but after it she is esteemed the sole property of her husband. made after the same fashion. and as the subject is generally founded on some recent event.com . which they afterwards dye. 15 hh-bb. We have many musical instruments. to which the relations of both parties are invited: her parents then deliver her to the bridegroom. and another much like a stickado. who in their dances frequently exhibit feats of arms. which none but married women are permitted to wear: she is now considered as completely his wife. wrapped loosely round the body. The ceremony being now ended the festival begins. and implements of husbandry. As our manners are simple. and at the same time they tie round her waist a cotton string of the thickness of a goose-quill. This is usually dyed blue. or muslin. We are almost a nation of dancers. and at this time the dowry is given to the new married pair. Among the rest tobacco pipes. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. When our women are not employed with the men in tillage. and poultry. which generally consists of portions of land. Each represents some interesting scene of real life. domestic employment. Our manner of living is entirely plain. which is our favourite colour. or other cause of public rejoicing is celebrated in public dances. These last are chiefly used by betrothed virgins. goats. accompanied with music and dancing. and the maidens the fourth. such as a great achievement. To these succeed the married women. and loud acclamations of joy. for as yet the natives are unacquainted with those refinements in cookery which debauch the taste: bullocks. which they dispose with some profusion on their arms and legs. Or GustavusVassa. a piece of music which resembles a guitar. musicians. as those in Turkey[C]. It is extracted from a berry. These constitute likewise the Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. our women of distinction wear golden ornaments. a pathetic story. particularly drums of different kinds. supply the greatest part of their food. The dress of both sexes is nearly the same. it is therefore ever new. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. somewhat in the form of a highland plaid. accompanied with a number of blessings. and cattle. They also manufacture earthen vessels. or some rural sport. It generally consists of a long piece of callico. and each with a character peculiar to itself. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. These are offered by the friends of both parties. All rights are reserved. their usual occupation is spinning and weaving cotton. Thus every great event.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Besides this. and make it into garments. who dance in the second division.

and sometimes one tree will yield three or four gallons in a night. is as hard as brick. the same as our dress. and other spices. yams. appropriated to the sole use of the master. Every man is a sufficient architect Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. with a composition mixed with cow-dung. who have also their separate day and night houses. The flesh is usually stewed in a pan. in a certain place. 16 hh-bb. on which are laid skins. The habitations of the slaves and their families are distributed throughout the rest of the enclosure. and we have salt made of wood ashes. by pouring out a small portion of the food. All rights are reserved. and the chief articles of its commerce. raised three or four feet from the ground. The head of the family usually eats alone. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. which. Our vegetables are mostly plantains. crossed with wattles. which the natives suppose to preside over their conduct. but we have benches. which annoy us during the night. and their principal beverage is palm wine. Our dayhouses are left open at the sides. principal wealth of the country. and neatly plastered within. to accommodate strangers: these compose the greater part of our household furniture. libation is made. but on this it is an indispensable ceremony. Our beds consist of a platform. which are generally perfumed. Within this are his houses to accommodate his family and slaves. but in a few days it acquires a tartish and more spirituous flavour: though I never saw any one intoxicated by it. beans. for the spirits of departed relations. and fastening a large gourd to it. in one of which he sits in the day with his family. a small portion of which thrown into the fire diffuses a most powerful odour[D]. to make it savoury we sometimes use also pepper. He has besides these a distinct apartment in which he sleeps. These houses never exceed one story in height: they are always built of wood. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and mix it with palm oil. if numerous. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Houses so constructed and furnished require but little skill to erect them. Our principal luxury is in perfumes. and Indian corn. which. and without. and plastered in the inside. the other is left apart for the reception of his friends. Our covering is calico or muslin. and different parts of a spungy tree called plaintain. We beat this wood into powder.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. to keep off the different insects.com . The usual seats are a few logs of wood. Before we taste food we always wash our hands: indeed our cleanliness on all occasions is extreme. The roof is thatched with reeds. surrounded with a moat or fence. In the middle stands the principal building. or stakes driven into the ground. and consisting of two apartments. eadas. This is gotten from a tree of that name by tapping it at the top. The walls and floors also of these are generally covered with mats. when dry. In our buildings we study convenience rather than ornament. On each side are the apartments of his wives. with which both men and women perfume themselves. Or GustavusVassa. or enclosed with a wall made of red earth tempered. and guard them from evil. together with his male children. frequently present the appearance of a village. After washing. his wives and slaves have also their separate tables. The same tree also produces nuts and oil. Each master of a family has a large square piece of ground. one sort of these is an odoriferous wood of delicious fragrance: the other a kind of earth. When just drawn it is of a most delicious sweetness. but those in which we sleep are always covered. They are totally unacquainted with strong or spirituous liquours.

and expect no other recompense than a feast. but they were only prisoners of war. and as we are unacquainted with idleness. and a variety of delicious fruits which I have never seen in Europe. We have also spices of different kinds. as our waters were only brooks and springs. Or GustavusVassa. that. They consist for the most part of calicoes. are provisions. and our salt of wood ashes. earthern ware. or adultery. hats. They generally bring us fire-arms. which not long after I had an opportunity of fatally seeing applied to that infamous purpose. which we esteemed heinous. These articles they barter with us for odoriferous woods and earth. and zeal. and honey in abundance. intelligence. or such among us as had been convicted of kidnapping. I might have added too in their comeliness. of course we have few manufactures. As we live in a country where nature is prodigal of her favours. as I have observed. We have plenty of Indian corn. The last we esteemed a great rarity. 17 hh-bb. if I may call them such. and instruments of war and husbandry. particularly pepper. are engaged in it. together with gums of various kinds. however we have some small pieces of coin. which term signifies red men living at a distance. even the children and women. at which I have been frequently with my mother. and in their vigour and activity.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Every one contributes something to the common stock. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. gunpowder. Numbers of the natives of Eboe now in London might be brought in Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Our land is uncommonly rich and fruitful. for the purpose. but the strictest account is exacted of their manner of procuring them before they are suffered to pass. I mean that of shape. Our pine apples grow without culture. All rights are reserved. their principal business among us was to trepan our people. for their hardiness. we have no beggars. These are sometimes visited by stout mahogany-coloured men from the south west of us: we call them Oye-Eboe. beads. Agriculture is our chief employment.com . and produces all kinds of vegetables in great abundance. But these make no part of our commerce. and finely flavoured. Thus we are all habituated to labour from our earliest years. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. our wants are few and easily supplied. and some other crimes. The West India planters prefer the slaves of Benin or Eboe to those of any other part of Guinea. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. integrity. Those benefits are felt by us in the general healthiness of the people. ornaments. Deformity is indeed unknown amongst us. and every one. and dried fish. notwithstanding all our strictness. but I do not remember either their value or denomination. I remember too they carried great sacks along with them. The benefits of such a mode of living are obvious. The whole neighbourhood afford their unanimous assistance in building them and in return receive. the principal articles of which. We have also markets. They are made something like an anchor. This practice of kidnapping induces me to think. Sometimes indeed we sold slaves to them. In such a state money is of little use. they are about the size of the largest sugar-loaf. and vast quantities of cotton and tobacco. All our industry is exerted to improve those blessings of nature. They always carry slaves through our land.

as far as related to their complexions. There were many women as well as men Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and when they apprehend an invasion they guard the avenues to their dwellings. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. They are also remarkably cheerful. We had been all at work in it one day as usual. who were tawny. They use no beasts of husbandry. and are generally dipt in poison. I remember while in Africa to have seen three negro children. that when our people march to the field a red flag or banner is borne before them. Our women too were in my eyes at least uncommonly graceful. I remember an instance or two wherein this happened.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. as deformed. Our whole district is a kind of militia: on a certain signal given. they appear to have been irruptions of one little state or district on the other. and the natives in general. if his party be vanquished. shovels. Our tillage is exercised in a large plain or common. and march boldly out to fight along with the men. and their only instruments are hoes. they all rise in arms and rush upon their enemy. it is thought dangerous to let him survive. and no ransom can save him. It is not extraordinary. Sometimes we are visited by locusts. some hours walk from our dwellings. if on this occasion he yields to the temptation with as little firmness. From what I can recollect of these battles. broad twoedged swords and javelins: we have shields also which cover a man from head to foot. and accepts the price of his fellow creatures liberty with as little reluctance as the enlightened merchant. ideas of beauty are wholly relative. It is perhaps something remarkable. and beaks. or pointed iron to dig with. and tempts him with his wares. Or GustavusVassa. he gratifies his avarice by selling them. alert. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. they not only go in a body. to obtain prisoners or booty. which come in large clouds. Such a mode of obtaining slaves in Africa is common. We have fire-arms. by driving sticks into the ground. When a trader wants slaves. he is put to death: for. as he has been known to foment their quarrels. All rights are reserved. Accordingly he falls on his neighbours. so as to darken the air. Perhaps they were incited to this by those traders who brought the European goods I mentioned amongst us. nor do I remember to have ever heard of an instance of incontinence amongst them before marriage. bows and arrows. This however happens rarely. and modest to a degree of bashfulness. but when it does. and all the neighbours resort thither in a body. support of this assertion: for. I climbed a tree at some distance. who were universally regarded by myself. This common is often the theatre of war. which are so sharp at one end as to pierce the foot.com . and a desperate battle ensues. though all other prisoners may be redeemed. but generally take their arms with them for fear of a surprise. and destroy our harvest. All are taught the use of these weapons. such as the firing of a gun at night. If he prevails and takes prisoners. and another quite white. when our people were suddenly attacked. I was once a witness to a battle in our common. a famine is produced by it. Indeed cheerfulness and affability are two of the leading characteristics of our nation. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and therefore when our people go out to till their land. and I believe more are procured this way. than any other[E]. even our women are warriors. and he falls into the hands of the enemy. in regard to complexion. from which I beheld the fight. axes. and by kidnapping. 18 hh-bb. but. he applies to a chief for them.

among others my mother was there. and guard them from the bad spirits or their foes. but.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and pour some of their drink. the natives believe that there is one Creator of all things. and there was scarce any other difference between them. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. which was a kind of small solitary thatched house. I do not remember to have ever heard of it: some however believe in the transmigration of souls in a certain degree. clothing and lodging were nearly the same as theirs. Some of these slaves have even slaves under them as their own property. and is girted round with a belt that he may never eat or drink. For this reason they always before eating. put some small portion of the meat. The spoils were divided according to the merit of the warriors. and those children whom our wise men foretel will be fortunate are then presented to different people. The people at the same time make a great noise with rattles. and spent most of the night in cries and lamentations. The loneliness of the place. though he offered a large ransom for his life. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. such as our dear friends or relations. There she made her libations. especially our deaths or captivity. and took their enemy's Chief prisoner. Those prisoners which were not sold or redeemed we kept as slaves: but how different was their condition from that of the slaves in the West Indies! With us they do no more work than other members of the community. he smokes a pipe. and armed with a broad sword. and hold up their hands to heaven for a blessing. and that authority which. A virgin of note among our enemies had been slain in the battle. naturally awful and gloomy. according to some. Or GustavusVassa. were heightened by my mother's lamentations. even their masters. I was very fond of my mother. and for their own use. concuring with the cries of doleful birds. He was carried off in great triumph. All rights are reserved. I sometimes attended her. which is our own favourite luxury. though much larger. not unlike the basket rattles used by children here. and the ceremony of libation. by which these places were frequented. 19 hh-bb. on the ground for them. and they often make oblations of the blood of beasts or fowls at their graves. and. I Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Those spirits. and that he lives in the sun. which are not transmigrated. It is then the greatest offerings are made. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. When she went to make these oblations at her mother's tomb. they believe always attend them. I have been often extremely terrified on these occasions. As to religion. as I have observed. and after many had been killed our people obtained the victory. on both sides. he exercises over every part of his household. (except that they were not permitted to eat with those who were freeborn). than a superior degree of importance which the head of a family possesses in our state. They believe he governs events. and on its setting that evening there is a general shout throughout the land. and almost constantly with her. and her arm was exposed in our market-place. at least I can speak from my own knowledge throughout our vicinity. We compute the year from the day on which the sun crosses the line. the darkness of the night. he was put to death. where our trophies were always exhibited. but. and these. their food. gave an inexpressible terror to the scene. as for the doctrine of eternity. After fighting for a considerable time with great fury.com . as such.

indeed almost as many. Like them also. Every woman too. I was so fond of my mother I could not keep from her. 'That if they were to be eaten. and their families have been present. or avoid touching her at some of those periods. They calculated our time. I remember we often had them at my father's and my uncle's. in our language. They have many offerings. or wise men. and animals were offered in sacrifice to them. All rights are reserved. it was always mentioned with the greatest reverence. Those that touched the dead at any time were obliged to wash and purify themselves before they could enter a dwelling-house. signifies vicissitude or fortune also. 20 hh-bb. they should be eaten with bitter herbs. I was named ‘Olaudah’. till offering was made. but they were held in great reverence by the people. when made by one of the heads of a family. I remember we never polluted the name of the object of our adoration. None accompanied their funerals but those of the same Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Pipes and tobacco were also put into the grave with the corpse.com . was forbidden to come into a dwelling-house. which signifies calculators or yearly men. I do not remember whether they had different offices. and used on the same occasions. which was always perfumed and ornamented. They wore their beards. in a little house made for that purpose. at certain times.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. or any thing we ate. remember many used to come to see me. for we called them Ah-affoe-way-cah. our children were named from some event. This necessary habit of decency was with us a part of religion. our year being called Ah-affoe. Most of their implements and things of value were interred along with them. and we were totally unacquainted with swearing. and foretold events. and therefore we had many purifications and washings. Some of our offerings are eaten with bitter herbs. and all those terms of abuse and reproach which find their way so readily and copiously into the languages of more civilized people. serve for the whole. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. we had priests and magicians. or may you swell. The only expressions of that kind I remember were 'May you rot. if my recollection does not fail me. as the Jews. and when they died they were succeeded by their sons. Though we had no places of public worship. or whether they were united in the same persons. particularly at full moons. These offerings. or may a beast take you. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.' We practised circumcision like the Jews. and I was carried about to others for that purpose. or touch any person. on the contrary. one favoured. sometimes they offer up part of them as a sacrifice. and then we were purified. in consequence of which I was obliged to be kept out with her. Or GustavusVassa. or fancied foreboding at the time of their birth. We had a saying among us to any one of a cross temper. some circumstance. as their name imported. and made offerings and feasts on that occasion in the same manner as they did. generally two at harvest before the fruits are taken out of the ground: and when any young animals are killed. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and having a loud voice and well spoken.' I have before remarked that the natives of this part of Africa are extremely cleanly. which.

A virgin had been poisoned. to shew him it is not poisoned. and. as remarkable omens in my favour. which I hope it will not be deemed impertinent here to insert. they seemed seized with some[F] sudden impulse. except that as to poisoning: I recollect an instance or two. but it was not known by whom: the doctors ordered the corpse to be taken up by some persons. to the great surprise of many who saw it. We have serpents of different kinds. which I did. he immediately confessed the poisoning[G]. and would tamely suffer themselves to be handled. the strong analogy which even by this sketch. the owner being taken up. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. All rights are reserved. and each time they crowed like a cock. I do not remember what those methods were. And here I cannot forbear suggesting what has long struck me very forcibly. crept at different times into my mother's night-house. and coiled themselves into folds. I was desired by some of our wise men to touch these. which alone would induce me to think that the one people had sprung from the other. as it may serve as a kind of specimen of the rest. imperfect as it is. and the same is done when any meat or drink is presented. and were very successful in healing wounds and expelling poisons. and these we never molest. and ran to and fro unable to stop themselves. These buried them after sunset. that I might be interested in the good omens. When they buy any eatable the seller kisses it all round before the buyer. the corpse fell from them close to a house. and set on one side of the highway. and is still used by the negroes in the West Indies. and always returned from the grave by a different way from that which they went. Indeed Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. the success of which no doubt they derived from their unbounded influence over the credulity and superstition of the people. profession or tribe. As soon as the bearers had raised it on their shoulders. Or GustavusVassa. and therefore by my mother and the rest of the people. namely. Some of our snakes. appears to prevail in the manners and customs of my countrymen and those of the Jews.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. The natives are extremely cautious about poison. They practiced bleeding by cupping. They had likewise some extraordinary method of discovering jealousy. 21 hh-bb. and then they were put into a large open earthen pan. where I always lay with her. theft. and particularly the patriarchs while they were yet in that pastoral state which is described in Genesis--an analogy. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and poisoning. however. Such is the imperfect sketch my memory has furnished me with of the manners and customs of a people among whom I first drew my breath. At last. before they reached the Land of Promise. were poisonous: one of them crossed the road one day when I was standing on it. and passed between my feet without offering to touch me. These magicians were also our doctors or physicians. and these incidents were accounted by the wise men. and in colour resembling a dolphin in the water. for they were quite harmless.com . some of which are esteemed ominous when they appear in our houses. each of which was as thick as the calf of a man's leg. I remember two of those ominous snakes. and carried to the grave. after having passed through a number of thorns and prickly bushes unhurt. particularly to a stranger. and defaced it in the fall.

where the inhabitants are bred from a mixture of the first Portuguese discoverers with the natives. of which ‘I myself have been a witness’. Are any pains taken to teach them Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. T. It is a subject which has engaged the pens of men of both genius and learning. under the torrid zone. while they shew how the complexions of the same persons vary in different climates. this is the opinion of Dr." There is also another instance[J] of a Portuguese settlement at Mitomba. and a great many more which might be adduced. formerly Dean of Sarum. who have inhabited America. or eclipsed by the cloud with which time. and in the woolly quality of their hair. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. in his commentary on Genesis. and. "The Spaniards. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. on the same occasions as they had. manners. a river in Sierra Leona. and are now become in their complexion. contenting myself with extracting a fact as related by Dr. however. in a manner that at once solves every objection on that account. and supposing he forbore to stamp understanding on certainly his own image." Might it not naturally be ascribed to their situation? When they come among Europeans. our government was conducted by our chiefs or judges. The reasonings of these gentlemen are still further confirmed by the scripture chronology. 22 hh-bb. without limiting the goodness of God. has ascertained the cause. on my mind at least. Gill. These instances. retaining however a smattering of the Portuguese language. who. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. though broken and spent in its passage. our washings and purifications. Surely the minds of the Spaniards did not change with their complexions! Are there not causes enough to which the apparent inferiority of an African may be ascribed. The most able and Reverend Mr. it is hoped may tend also to remove the prejudice that some conceive against the natives of Africa on account of their colour. tradition. It is also conformable to the sentiments of Dr. religion. and the head of a family with us enjoyed a similar authority over his household with that which is ascribed to Abraham and the other patriarchs. because "carved in ebony. Clarkson. All rights are reserved. ‘perfect negroes’. this resemblance in so many respects is a strong evidence in support of the opinion. and is far above my strength. our wise men and elders. and if any further corroboration were required. the descendants of Abraham by Keturah his wife and concubine (for both these titles are applied to her). are become as dark coloured as our native Indians of Virginia. I shall not presume to account for it. for we had our circumcision (a rule I believe peculiar to that people:) we had also our sacrifices and burnt-offerings. The law of retaliation obtained almost universally with us as with them: and even their religion appeared to have shed upon us a ray of its glory. and customs.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. As to the difference of colour between the Eboan Africans and the modern Jews. for any time. they are ignorant of their language. Or GustavusVassa. very ably deduces the pedigree of the Africans from Afer and Afra. and ignorance might have enveloped it.com . John Clarke. has produced the fullest conviction. Mitchel[I]. I shall therefore refer to that performance for the theory[H]. in his Truth of the Christian Religion: both these authors concur in ascribing to us this original. in his much admired Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species. Like the Israelites in their primitive state.

but they had scarcely raised it to their shoulders. p. these? Are they treated as men? Does not slavery itself depress the mind. readily obeyed. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.] [Footnote I: Philos.] Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. p. and carry it to the grave. it resembles musk in strength. they came to the hut of him who had poisoned the girl. Let the polished and haughty European recollect that his ancestors were once. and confessed the poisoning. and even barbarous. If. above all.] [Footnote K: Acts.] [Footnote H: Page 178 to 216.] [Footnote C: The bowl is earthen. neither are our ways his ways. cited by Mr. without intention. and had even seen it. v. 26. and gratitude to God. Mansfield. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. let it be tempered with benevolence to others. Trans. and some of the crew being one day on shore.] [Footnote F: See also Leut. 4. Or GustavusVassa. to which a long reed is fixed as a tube. This tube is sometimes so long as to be born by one. Sect. who were all of the same opinion. 205. All rights are reserved. they feel exultation. that understanding is not confined to feature or colour. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted.] [Footnote G: An instance of this kind happened at Montserrat in the West Indies in the year 1763.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. quite unable to direct themselves.] [Footnote B: When I was in Smyrna I have frequently seen the Greeks dance after this manner. like the Africans. The mate therefore desired two of the sailors to take up the coffin. curiously figured.com . Matthew's Voyage. No. at last. and brought some of it with me to England. 123. xvii. and is not unlike the smell of a rose. what advantages do not a refined people possess over those who are rude and uncultivated." FOOTNOTES: [Footnote A: See Benezet's "Account of Guinea" throughout.] [Footnote E: See Benezet's Account of Africa throughout. Though they had often heard of the circumstance of the running in such cases. The coffin then immediately fell from their shoulders against the hut.--I give this story as it was related by the mate and crew on their return to the ship. and damaged part of the wall. c. till. and extinguish all its fire and every noble sentiment? But. The credit which is due to it I leave with the reader. Nº 476. The owner of the hut was taken into custody on this. Clarkson. they imagined it to be a trick of the corpse-bearers. 23 hh-bb.] [Footnote D: When I was in Smyrna I saw the same kind of earth. I then belonged to the Charming Sally. Mr. Did Nature make ‘them’ inferior to their sons? and should ‘they too’ have been made slaves? Every rational mind answers. Doran. Capt. and whose wisdom is not our wisdom. before they began to run furiously about. uncivilized. "who hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth[K]. The sailors. but is more delicious in scent.--The chief mate. Let such reflections as these melt the pride of their superiority into sympathy for the wants and miseries of their sable brethren. and compel them to acknowledge.] [Footnote J: Same page. and frequently out of grandeur by two boys. were present at the burying of a poisoned negro girl. when they look round the world.

after the manner of our greatest warriors. They had been implanted in me with great care. and commonly some of us used to get up a tree to look out for any assailant. for. who was the only daughter. and only I and Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. when none of the grown people were nigh. I hope the reader will not think I have trespassed on his patience in introducing myself to him with some account of the manners and customs of my country. All rights are reserved. and my mother adorned me with emblems. which time could not erase. I was trained up from my earliest years in the art of war. to kidnap. so that he could not escape till some of the grown people came and secured him. there being many stout young people in it. when all our people were gone out to their works as usual. where the cargo is sold and dispersed.com . The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Immediately on this I gave the alarm of the rogue. One day. whether the love of one's country be real or imaginary. 24 hh-bb. I have already acquainted the reader with the time and place of my birth. Or GustavusVassa. or kidnapper. had a numerous family. and which all the adversity and variety of fortune I have since experienced served only to rivet and record. of course. when an end was put to my happiness in the following manner:-Generally when the grown people in the neighbourhood were gone far in the fields to labour. In this way I grew up till I was turned the age of eleven. the children assembled together in some of the neighbours' premises to play. But alas! ere long it was my fate to be thus attacked. the greatest favourite with my mother. including myself and a sister. or a lesson of reason. My father. I still look back with pleasure on the first scenes of my life. that might come upon us. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and was always with her. II. or an instinct of nature. besides many slaves.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. As I was the youngest of the sons. as I was watching at the top of a tree in our yard. and he was surrounded by the stoutest of them. my daily exercise was shooting and throwing javelins. One day. The author's birth and parentage--His being kidnapped with his sister--Their separation--Surprise at meeting again--Are finally separated--Account of the different places and incidents the author met with till his arrival on the coast--The effect the sight of a slave ship had on him--He sails for the West Indies--Horrors of a slave ship--Arrives at Barbadoes. and made an impression on my mind. of which seven lived to grow up. I became. who entangled him with cords. for they sometimes took those opportunities of our parents' absence to attack and carry off as many as they could seize. CHAPTER. and to be carried off. I saw one of those people come into the yard of our next neighbour but one. though that pleasure has been for the most part mingled with sorrow. and she used to take particular pains to form my mind.

All rights are reserved. We were then unbound. to bring pitchers of water from Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I got into the hands of a chieftain. Although I was a great many days journey from my father's house. I had now some hopes of being delivered. while I was left in a state of distraction not to be described. which allayed our misfortune for a short time. For a long time we had kept the woods. They were in some respects not unlike the stoves here in gentlemen's kitchens. Or GustavusVassa. I cried and grieved continually. after many days travelling. during which I had often changed masters.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and the only comfort we had was in being in one another's arms all that night. when we reached a small house. and in the middle of that leather a stick was fixed. and immediately carried away. she was torn from me. went with the maidens. but we refused it. in a very pleasant country. This man had two wives and some children. Here they tied our hands. particularly the first wife. and my principal employment was working his bellows. At length. When we went to rest the following night they offered us some victuals. and tied her hands. was a smith. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. where the robbers halted for refreshment. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and then they put me into a large sack. and. I believe it was gold he worked. in the same manner as is done to pump water out of a cask with a hand pump. for my sister and I were then separated. They also stopped my sister's mouth. yet these people spoke exactly the same language with us. 25 hh-bb. or make resistance. on which I began to cry out for their assistance: but my cries had no other effect than to make them tie me faster and stop my mouth. without giving us time to cry out. and ran off with us into the nearest wood. for the same purpose. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and in this manner we proceeded till we were out of the sight of these people. This first master of mine. two men and a woman got over our walls. as I may call him. and bathing each other with our tears. and did all they could to comfort me. who was something like my mother. The next day proved a day of greater sorrow than I had yet experienced. which were the same kind as I had seen in my vicinity. The next morning we left the house. till night came on. they stopped our mouths. It was in vain that we besought them not to part us. and for several days I did not eat any thing but what they forced into my mouth. my dear sister were left to mind the house. and in a moment seized us both. but were unable to take any food. while we lay clasped in each other's arms. and were covered over with leather. This liberty I used in embracing every opportunity to inquire the way to my own home: and I also sometimes. and they all used me extremely well. and they at last used to trust me some little distance from the house. and continued travelling all the day.com . and a person stood up. and was worn by the women on their wrists and ancles. and continued to carry us as far as they could. and. But alas! we were soon deprived of even the small comfort of weeping together. for we had advanced but a little way before I discovered some people at a distance. and worked it. in the cool of the evenings. but at last we came into a road which I believed I knew. for it was of a lovely bright yellow colour. I was there I suppose about a month. our only relief was some sleep. being quite overpowered by fatigue and grief. and spent the night.

The old slave. if possibly I could escape all other animals.com . was strengthened by the mortifying circumstance of not daring to eat with the free-born children. and hid myself in the bushes. and abandoned myself to despair. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I therefore determined to seize the first opportunity of making my escape. but not finding me. and I began to consider that. and set in the evening. and the bushes were so thick that a man could readily conceal himself in them. I then gave myself up for lost entirely. they searched all the house. and I not making answer when they called to me. I could not those of the human kind. but I was now convinced it was fruitless. and. I must perish in the woods. and I now learned from them. while I was feeding some chickens. and put an end to my hopes. Or GustavusVassa. 26 hh-bb. and that I should be lost in the woods. I had also remarked where the sun rose in the morning. and the way so intricate. and one morning. for I was quite oppressed and weighed down by grief after my mother and friends. Soon afterwards my mistress and the slave returned. This alarmed me very much. and on my relating the accident (for I told her the truth. Thus was I like the hunted deer: Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. as I had travelled along. and to shape my course for that quarter. and accordingly I ran into a thicket that was hard by. In that part of the country (as in ours) the houses and villages were skirted with woods. that any attempt to return home would be hopeless. not knowing the way. and my love of liberty. although I was mostly their companion. having soon after missed the chicken. and aggravated all my fears. and that. ever great. Most of them supposed I had fled towards home. While I was projecting my escape. I had before entertained hopes of getting home. I used to be sometimes employed in assisting an elderly woman slave to cook and take care of the poultry. and I had determined when it should be dark to make the attempt. and I had observed that my father's house was towards the rising of the sun. The neighbours continued the whole day looking for me. though they were often so near that I even heard their conjectures as they were looking about for me. and expected every moment. but the distance was so great. one day an unlucky event happened. and. or shrubberies. All rights are reserved. and several times many of them came within a few yards of the place where I lay hid. When I heard this I was seized with a violent panic. she immediately went and told her mistress what I had done.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. that they thought I could never reach it. my master being out. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. which quite disconcerted my plan. because my mother would never suffer me to tell a lie) she flew into a violent passion. the springs for the use of the house. to be found out. for I had seldom been beaten at home. I therefore resolved to fly. not seeing me. when I heard a rustling among the trees. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I happened to toss a small pebble at one of them. Night too began to approach. which to me was uncommonly dreadful. and I expected an instant flogging. inquired after it. which hit it on the middle and directly killed it. and the whole neighbourhood was raised in the pursuit of me. so as to elude the strictest search. threatened that I should suffer for it. and punished by my master: but they never discovered me. they thought I had run away.

nor were they so copious as those of the Europeans. to accommodate the merchants and travellers. and saw me in the fire place. and they always go well armed. clung to each other in mutual embraces. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. either on their shoulders or on their backs. and really would have killed himself. at proper distances. In this manner I had been traveling for a considerable time. when necessary. She was very much surprised to see me. Soon after this my master's only daughter. and crept to my master's kitchen.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. when I was tired. through many different countries. and not to be ill-treated. and a number of large woods. I acquired two or three different tongues. and could scarcely believe her own eyes. Or GustavusVassa. for a considerable time. and ran into my arms--I was quite overpowered: neither of us could speak. --"Ev'ry leaf and ev'ry whisp'ring breath Convey'd a foe. and which was an open shed. However. very faint and hungry. and I was again sold. I was scarcely awake in the morning when the old woman slave. ordered me to be taken care of. sickened and died. while she and I held one another by the hands across his breast all night. or saw any offered to their slaves. and child by his first wife. in honour of those sable destroyers of human rights." I heard frequent rustlings among the leaves. unable to do any thing but weep. This increased my anguish. She now promised to intercede for me. and the man. and. The people I was sold to used to carry me very often. whom should I see brought to the house where I was but my dear sister! As soon as she saw me she gave a loud shriek. and indeed I must acknowledge. when one evening. and being pretty sure they were snakes I expected every instant to be stung by them. All rights are reserved. to keep them from running away. except tying them. which affected him so much that for some time he was almost frantic. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Our meeting affected all who saw us. having slightly reprimanded me. for I had not eaten or drank any thing all the day. I at length quitted the thicket. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and went for her master. They were therefore easily learned. who soon after came. in a small time afterwards he recovered. and the horror of my situation became now quite insupportable. From the time I left my own nation I always found somebody that understood me till I came to the sea coast. The languages of different nations did not totally differ. who was the first up. had he not been watched and prevented. to whom I supposed we belonged. I was now carried to the left of the sun's rising. but. came to light the fire.com . he in the middle. I saw many convenient well-built sheds along the roads. who lay in those buildings along with their wives. and ev'ry foe a death. while I was journeying thus through Africa. When these people knew we were brother and sister they indulged us together. and. that I never met with any ill treatment. lay with us. from whence I set out at first. to my great surprise. and thus for a while we forgot our misfortunes in the Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. 27 hh-bb. particularly the English. who often accompany them. and laid myself down in the ashes with an anxious wish for death to relieve me from all my pains.

The small relief which her presence gave me from pain was gone. Here I first saw and tasted cocoa-nuts. the size of the finger nail. Indeed every thing here. I came to a town called Tinmah. the seasoning in the European colonies. I did not long remain after my sister. who was bound. but that he would not at any time either eat or drink till I had taken first. and were in the same manner as ours. the insides being neatly plastered and whitewashed. Yes. I was again sold. and went home with them. I had been about two or three days at his house. and not only so. for scarcely had the fatal morning appeared. and brought with her an only son. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. having taken a fancy to me. and all their treatment of me. Her house and premises were situated close to one of those rivulets I have mentioned. and supplied a large pond in the centre of the town. Here they saw me. 28 hh-bb. The next day I was washed and perfumed. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and when meal-time came I was led into the presence of my mistress. than before. where the people washed. joy of being together: but even this small comfort was soon to have an end. after travelling a considerable time. or the lash and lust of a brutal and unrelenting overseer. and my apprehensions lest her sufferings should be greater than mine. were also interspersed amongst the houses. and were the finest I ever saw in Africa: they were very extensive. in the most beautiful country I have yet seen in Africa. when I could not be with her to alleviate them.com . when she was again torn from me for ever! I was now more miserable. I was bought of the merchant. your image has been always rivetted in my heart. because I was the eldest. To that Heaven which protects the weak from the strong. from which neither ‘time nor fortune’ have been able to remove it. It was extremely rich. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. thou dear partner of all my childish sports! thou sharer of my joys and sorrows! happy should I have ever esteemed myself to encounter every misery for you. which were loaded. and to procure your freedom by the sacrifice of my own. came there one evening. which had commodious shades adjoining. and the trees. Though you were early forced from my arms. they have mingled with adversity and increased its bitterness. Their money consisted of little white shells. the pestilential stench of a Guinea ship. and I could scarce help expressing my surprise that the young gentleman should suffer me. I was sold here for one hundred and seventy-two of them by a merchant who lived and brought me there. if they have not already received their full reward. and there were many rivulets which flowed through it. and carried through a number of places. to eat with him who was free. Or GustavusVassa. and the wretchedness of my situation was redoubled by my anxiety after her fate. and if your youth and delicacy have not long since fallen victims to the violence of the African trader. which was agreeable to our custom. and ate and drank before her with her son. when a wealthy widow. Here I also saw and tasted for the first time sugar-cane. so that. a young gentleman about my own age and size. I commit the care of your innocence and virtues. which I thought superior to any nuts I had ever tasted before. if possible.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and she had a number of slaves to attend her. while the thoughts of your sufferings have damped my prosperity. a neighbour of his. This filled me with astonishment. till. and. made me forget that I was a Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. All rights are reserved.

and ate without washing their hands. with their men. especially when I came among a people who did not circumcise. I was wakened out of my reverie to fresh sorrow. while my dear master and companion was still asleep. above all. and hurried away even amongst the uncircumcised. as I had been used to do at home. The change I now experienced was as painful as it was sudden and unexpected. They had also the very same customs as we. when all at once the delusion vanished. We continued going on thus till night. Or GustavusVassa. and to forget by degrees my misfortunes. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and I now began to think I was to be adopted into the family. for they ate. others stayed and cooked in theirs. and had European cutlasses and cross bows. Their women were not so modest as ours. which were unknown to us.com . in which the people appeared to live with their household utensils and provisions of all kinds. each family by themselves. and likewise filed their teeth very sharp. without the least previous knowledge. and made fires on the banks. and slept. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Thus. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. But. In this resemblance to my former happy state I passed about two months. of which they made tents. All rights are reserved. one morning early. and was beginning to be reconciled to my situation. and wherein such instances of hardship and cruelty continually occurred as I can never reflect on but with horror. which was covered with canoes. All the nations and people I had hitherto passed through resembled our own in their manners. 29 hh-bb. It was a change indeed from a state of bliss to a scene which is inexpressible by me. In some of those places the people ornamented themselves with scars. but I would not suffer them. as I thought they did. customs. and drank. At last I came to the banks of a large river. only to render the reverse more poignant. and laid in them all night. some dragged their canoes on shore. and till then had no idea of. as I had never before seen any water larger than a pond or a rivulet: and my surprise was mingled with no small fear when I was put into one of these canoes. for. the inhabitants of which differed from us in all those particulars. while my young master and I with other boys sported with our darts and bows and arrows. that we understood each other perfectly. some in the shape of little houses: in these we slept. I found myself most miserable. as it discovered to me an element I had never before beheld. I was amazed to see no sacrifices or offerings among them.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. They wanted sometimes to ornament me in the same manner. and fought with their fists amongst themselves. There were likewise slaves daily to attend us. I was very much struck with this difference. and language: but I came at length to a country. I was beyond measure astonished at this. They cooked also in iron pots. hoping that I might some time be among a people who did not thus disfigure themselves. at the very moment I dreamed of the greatest happiness. and it seemed as if fortune wished to give me this taste of joy. slave. and when we came to land. and we began to paddle and move along the river. The language of these people resembled ours so nearly. Those on the land had mats. and after the morning meal we embarked again Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.

Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. having never tasted any such liquor before. through different countries and various nations. of the various hands I passed through. and had been receiving their pay. and every where a great deal of tobacco. instead of reviving me. It would be tedious and uninteresting to relate all the incidents which befell me during this journey. and proceeded as before. except such as I have mentioned. at the end of six or seven months after I had been kidnapped. and a slave ship. who I believed were some of those who brought me on board. were brought up to it. They told me I was not. though not used for any purpose.com . and which I have not yet forgotten. and one of the crew brought me a small portion of spirituous liquor in a wine glass. yams. I was often very much astonished to see some of the women. I no longer doubted of my fate. every one of their countenances expressing dejection and sorrow. The first object which saluted my eyes when I arrived on the coast was the sea. I arrived at the sea coast. till. and swim about. but. as well as the men. which was soon converted into terror when I was carried on board. I asked them if we were not to be eaten by those white men with horrible looks. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. &c. When I recovered a little I found some black people about me. and left me abandoned to despair. These filled me with astonishment. being afraid of him. &c. and of incredible size. quite overpowered with horror and anguish. jump into the water. red faces. and I took a little down my palate. and waiting for its cargo. Indeed such were the horrors of my views and fears at the moment. All rights are reserved. the pomkins. and there was plenty of redwood. which was then riding at anchor. and. and trained in the arts of war. that. and the language they spoke. Thus I continued to travel. sometimes by water. eadas. dive to the bottom. 30 hh-bb. I saw no mechanics whatever in all the way. (which was very different from any I had ever heard) united to confirm me in this belief. I would have freely parted with them all to have exchanged my condition with that of the meanest slave in my own country. I now saw myself deprived of all chance of returning to my Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. that in all the places where I was the soil was exceedingly rich. were in great abundance. and I was now persuaded that I had gotten into a world of bad spirits. their long hair. I fell motionless on the deck and fainted. There were also vast quantities of different gums. and that they were going to kill me. The chief employment in all these countries was agriculture. sometimes by land. When I looked round the ship too and saw a large furnace or copper boiling. I was immediately handled and tossed up to see if I were sound by some of the crew. plantains. as they thought it would. I would not take it out of his hand. which.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Their complexions too differing so much from ours. Or GustavusVassa. One of the blacks therefore took it from him and gave it to me. and the manners and customs of all the different people among whom I lived: I shall therefore only observe. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and loose hair. come up again. but all in vain. as with us. they talked to me in order to cheer me. The cotton even grew quite wild. if ten thousand worlds had been my own. and both the males and females. threw me into the greatest consternation at the strange feeling it produced. Soon after this the blacks who brought me on board went off. and a multitude of black people of every description chained together.

I then was a little revived. and. and then the vessel went on. still heightened by my ignorance of what I was to undergo. to relieve me. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and the white men had some spell or magic they put in the water when they liked in order to stop the vessel. they gave me to understand we were to be carried to these white people's country to work for them. to my grief. and there I received such a salutation in my nostrils as I had never experienced in my life: so that. for I expected they would sacrifice me: but my wishes were vain. All rights are reserved.' said I. in so savage a manner. and thought. and laid me across I think the windlass. This indeed was often the case with myself. the white people looked and acted. or even the least glimpse of hope of gaining the shore. yet nevertheless. Or GustavusVassa. native country. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. but lived in this hollow place (the ship): they told me they did not. 'Then. because they were left behind. 'do we not see them?' they answered. my situation was not so desperate: but still I feared I should be put to death. nor had I the least desire to taste any thing. and tied my feet. I would have jumped over the side. I could not help expressing my fears and apprehensions to some of my countrymen: I asked them if these people had no country. and really thought they were spirits. death. 31 hh-bb. I became so sick and low that I was not able to eat.' said I. which in a small degree gave ease to my mind. I had never experienced any thing of this kind before. and they tossed him over the side as they would have done a brute. I was soon put down under the decks. In a little time after. with the loathsomeness of the stench. I inquired of these what was to be done with us. amongst the poor chained men. for I had never seen among any people such instances of brutal cruelty. and crying together. if it were no worse than working. but soon. which I now considered as friendly. one of them held me fast by the hands. as I thought. when we were permitted to be on deck. could I have got over the nettings. I found some of my own nation. but came from a distant one. I therefore wished much to be from amongst them. lest we should leap into the water: and I have seen some of these poor African prisoners most severely cut for attempting to do so. This made me fear these people the more. that he died in consequence of it. two of the white men offered me eatables. the crew used to watch us very closely who were not chained down to the decks. on my refusing to eat. and hourly whipped for not eating. One white man in particular I saw. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I was not long suffered to indulge my grief. and this not only shewn towards us blacks. flogged so unmercifully with a large rope near the foremast. 'how comes it in all our country we never heard of them?' They told me because they lived so very far off. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and although.com . but that there were cloths put upon the masts by the help of the ropes I saw. besides. I naturally feared that element the first time I saw it. while the other flogged me severely. but I could not.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. not being used to the water. and I expected nothing less than to be treated in the same manner. but also to some of the whites themselves. I was exceedingly amazed at this account. I asked how the vessel could go? they told me they could not tell. which was filled with horrors of every kind. and I even wished for my former slavery in preference to my present situation. I then asked where were their women? had they any like themselves? I was told they had: 'and why. I now wished for the last friend. and.

and some of my countrymen. rendered the whole a scene of horror almost inconceivable. and were not convinced it was done by magic. it became absolutely pestilential. signifying I suppose we were to go to their country. Often did I think many of the inhabitants of the deep much more happy than myself. added to the number in the ship. from a variety of loathsome smells. 32 hh-bb. As soon as the whites saw it. so that the air soon became unfit for respiration. But this disappointment was the least of my sorrow. In this situation I expected every hour to share the fate of my companions. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and we were all put under deck. they made ready with many fearful noises. and the heat of the climate. as I may call it. to our astonishment who were on the deck. of which many died. The shrieks of the women. of their purchasers. thus falling victims to the improvident avarice. and as often wished I could change my condition for theirs. but now that the whole ship's cargo were confined together. so that we could not see how they managed the vessel. The stench of the hold while we were on the coast was so intolerably loathsome. to my great astonishment. and the groans of the dying. but we did not understand them. Or GustavusVassa. into which the children often fell. and were almost suffocated. which I began to hope would soon put an end to my miseries. and brought on a sickness among the slaves. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and one day. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. This produced copious perspirations. and the people of both ships seemed very glad to see each other. and my opinion of the cruelty of the whites. The closeness of the place. While we stayed on the coast I was mostly on deck. at which we were amazed. Soon after this the other ship got her boats out. but in vain. Every circumstance I met with served only to render my state more painful. that it was dangerous to remain there for any time. now become insupportable. I envied them the freedom they enjoyed. At last. All rights are reserved. and when they had killed and satisfied themselves with as many as they thought fit. which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. although we begged and prayed for some as well as we could. Several of the strangers also shook hands with us black people. and heighten my apprehensions. and the filth of the necessary tubs. almost suffocated us. for we were so quartered that it was impossible for any of us to make our escape. and the more so as the vessel appeared larger by approaching nearer. and from my extreme youth I was not put in fetters. At last she came to an anchor in my sight. when the ship we were in had got in all her cargo. One day they had taken a number of fishes. rather than give any of them to us to eat as we expected. they gave a great shout. and some of us had been permitted to stay on the deck for the fresh air. I saw one of these vessels coming in with the sails up. some of whom were almost daily brought upon deck at the point of death. they tossed the remaining fish into the sea again. and they came on board of us. and made motions with their hands. This wretched situation was again aggravated by the galling of the chains. Happily perhaps for myself I was soon reduced so low here that it was thought necessary to keep me almost always on deck. and when the anchor was let go I and my countrymen who saw it were lost in astonishment to observe the vessel stop.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.com .

which we were often without for whole days together. 33 hh-bb. One day. willing to increase it.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and I believe many more would very soon have done the same if they had not been prevented by the ship's crew. but they were discovered. there came to us Africans of all languages. somehow made through the nettings and jumped into the sea: immediately another quite dejected fellow. and I could not think what it meant. Or GustavusVassa. being pressed by hunger. They told us we were not to be eaten. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I had often with astonishment seen the mariners make observations with it. and I was now more persuaded than ever that I was in another world. which surprised me very much: they used frequently to fly across the ship. and examined us attentively. when soon after we were all put down under the deck again. Many a time we were near suffocation from the want of fresh air. This. Those of us that were the most active were in a moment put down under the deck. but to work. took an opportunity. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. also followed their example. and sure enough. where we should see many of our country people. when they thought no one saw them. who. I also now first saw the use of the quadrant. and that every thing about me was magic. there was much dread and trembling among us. and pointed to the land. and the attempt procured them some very severe floggings. and were soon to go on land. We were conducted Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.com . insomuch that at last the white people got some old slaves from the land to pacify us. and there was such a noise and confusion amongst the people of the ship as I never heard before. We thought by this we should be eaten by these ugly men. but they got the other. In this manner we continued to undergo more hardships than I can now relate. two of my wearied countrymen who were chained together (I was near them at the time). and many of them fell on the deck. and. During our passage I first saw flying fishes. made me one day look through it. as they appeared to us. Many merchants and planters now came on board. when we had a smooth sea and moderate wind. The clouds appeared to me to be land. At last we came in sight of the island of Barbadoes. on account of his illness. However two of the wretches were drowned. All rights are reserved. They put us in separate parcels. and other ships of different kinds and sizes. preferring death to such a life of misery. and we soon anchored amongst them off Bridge Town. of trying to get a little privately. signifying we were to go there. which disappeared as they passed along. hardships which are inseparable from this accursed trade. and afterwards flogged him unmercifully for thus attempting to prefer death to slavery. This report eased us much. They at last took notice of my surprise. at which the whites on board gave a great shout. This heightened my wonder. We did not know what to think of this. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. but as the vessel drew nearer we plainly saw the harbour. carried off many. They also made us jump. was suffered to be out of irons. to stop her. and one of them. and nothing but bitter cries to be heard all the night from these apprehensions. who were instantly alarmed. though it was in the evening. as well as to gratify my curiosity. soon after we were landed. and the stench of the necessary tubs. and made many signs of joy to us. and get the boat out to go after the slaves.

Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and it was very moving on this occasion to see and hear their cries at parting. I understood them.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and the eagerness visible in the countenances of the buyers.(as the beat of a drum) the buyers rush at once into the yard where the slaves are confined. were sold in different lots. ye nominal Christians! might not an African ask you. All rights are reserved. learned you this from your God. there were several brothers. The noise and clamour with which this is attended. which. In this manner. 34 hh-bb. when I came to converse with different Africans. without regard to sex or age. What struck me first was that the houses were built with stories. or husbands their wives? Surely this is a new refinement in cruelty. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. in the men's apartment. I found they had many horses amongst them. and thus prevented from cheering the gloom of slavery with the small comfort of being together and mingling their sufferings and sorrows? Why are parents to lose their children. who. Or GustavusVassa. serve not a little to increase the apprehensions of the terrified Africans. and I thought it odd I had not seen any horses there. Do unto all men as you would men should do unto you? Is it not enough that we are torn from our country and friends to toil for your luxury and lust of gain? Must every tender feeling be likewise sacrificed to your avarice? Are the dearest friends and relations. I did not know what this could mean. who said they were the same kind they had in their country. O. though they were from a distant part of Africa. brothers their sisters. thus aggravates distress. are relations and friends separated. in the sale. but afterwards. I remember in the vessel in which I was brought over. We were not many days in the merchant's custody before we were sold after their usual manner. and make choice of that parcel they like best. immediately to the merchant's yard. and adds fresh horrors even to the wretchedness of slavery. who may well be supposed to consider them as the ministers of that destruction to which they think themselves devoted. most of them never to see each other again. As every object was new to me every thing I saw filled me with surprise. where we were all pent up together like so many sheep in a fold. who says unto you. while it has no advantage to atone for it. which is this:--On a signal given. and in every other respect different from those in Africa: but I was still more astonished on seeing people on horseback. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. still to be parted from each other. While I was in this astonishment one of my fellow prisoners spoke to a countryman of his about the horses. and indeed I thought these people were full of nothing but magical arts.com . now rendered more dear by their separation from their kindred. without scruple. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and much larger than those I then saw.

from very much fretting. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and wishing for death rather than any thing else. 35 hh-bb. Or GustavusVassa. the women too. I stayed in this island for a few days.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. III. and gathering stones in a plantation. The author is carried to Virginia--His distress--Surprise at seeing a picture and a watch--Is bought by Captain Pascal. and sets out for England--His terror during the voyage--Arrives in England--His wonder at a fall of snow--Is sent to Guernsey. and I never saw one of them afterwards. about Virginia county. I believe it could not be above a fortnight. she had one particularly on her head. were all gone different ways. On the passage we were better treated than when we were coming from Africa. I was much astonished and shocked at this contrivance. CHAPTER. The first object that engaged my attention was a watch which hung on the chimney. to whom I suppose the estate belonged. when I and some few more slaves. I was a few weeks weeding grass. and only myself was left. I was one day sent for to his dwelling house to fan him. that were not saleable amongst the rest. We were landed up a river a good way from the sea. and was going. and at last all my companions were distributed different ways. which to me appeared very fine and curious. All rights are reserved. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. for they could talk to each other. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.com . and not one soul who could talk to me. but I had no person to speak to that I could understand. I was now exceedingly miserable. where we saw few or none of our native Africans. and in some time goes on board a ship of war with his master--Some account of the expedition against Louisbourg under the command of Admiral Boscawen. were shipped off in a sloop for North America. While he was fast asleep I indulged myself a great deal in looking about the room. and so I did indeed with great fear. when I came into the room where he was I was very much affrighted at some things I saw. and thought myself worse off than any of the rest of my companions. who was cooking the dinner. being unwell. in 1758. and could not eat nor drink. who used to wash and take care of me. and the more so as I had seen a black woman slave as I came through the house. I was quite surprised at the noise it made. and we had plenty of rice and fat pork. which locked her mouth so fast that she could scarcely speak. to fan the gentleman while he slept. Soon after I had a fan put into my hand. and was afraid it would tell the gentleman any Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I now totally lost the small remains of comfort I had enjoyed in conversing with my countrymen. which I afterwards learned was called the iron muzzle. and the poor creature was cruelly loaded with various kinds of iron machines. In this state I was constantly grieving and pining. While I was in this plantation the gentleman.

and plenty of good victuals to eat. I think I have often heard him say he gave thirty or forty pounds sterling for me. Some of the people of the ship used to tell me they were going to carry me back to my own country. having never seen such things as these before. and told him as well as I could that I would be called Jacob. I was conducted on horseback by an elderly black man. one Mr. which was somewhere in the confines of the county many miles off. but he said I should not. and when I refused to answer to my new name. In this place I was called Jacob. A few days after I was on board we sailed for England. whose name was Michael Henry Pascal. my captain and master named me ‘Gustavus Vassa’. when I was dismissed out of the room. for one day the captain of a merchant ship. While he was at my master's house it happened that he saw me. which at first I did. and just ready to sail for England. I was still more affrighted. I had sails to lie on. and thought if I should get home what wonders I should have to tell. but on board the African snow I was called Michael. to the place where the ship lay. (a mode of travelling which appeared very odd to me). I had been some time in this miserable. &c. for I thought that these people were all made up of wonders. I now thought my condition much mended. called the Industrious Bee. forlorn. This gentleman. and not seeing it move I thought it might be some way the whites had to keep their great men when they died. thing I might do amiss: and when I immediately after observed a picture hanging in the room. and every body on board used me very kindly.com . it gained me many a cuff. loaded with tobacco. was a lieutenant in the royal navy. but I do not now remember which. but now commanded this trading ship. Campbell. By this time. While I was on board this ship.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I was still at a loss to conjecture my destiny. However. Or GustavusVassa. by which I have Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. however. All rights are reserved. to my comfort. and liked me so well that he made a purchase of me. which appeared constantly to look at me. which made my life a burden. I therefore began to think that they were not all of the same disposition. when the kind and unknown hand of the Creator (who in very deed leads the blind in a way they know not) now began to appear. 36 hh-bb. I could smatter a little imperfect English. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and offer them libation as we used to do to our friendly spirits. and this made me very happy. and much dejected state. At one time I thought it was something relative to magic. When I arrived I was carried on board a fine large ship. and refused to be called so. he meant me for a present to some of his friends in England: and I was sent accordingly from the house of my then master. and still called me Gustavus. came on some business to my master's house. and was soon undeceived when we came within sight of the English coast. to my no small satisfaction and relief. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. without having any one to talk to. and I wanted to know as well as I could where we were going. I was quite rejoiced at the sound of going back. quite contrary to what I had seen of any white people before. In this state of anxiety I remained till my master awoke. so at length I submitted. and was obliged to bear the present name. But I was reserved for another fate. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I at that time began to understand him a little.

and who was not ashamed to notice. and perform some magic. as I lost at once a kind interpreter. Soon after I went on board he shewed me a great deal of partiality and attention. an agreeable companion. There was on board the ship a young lad who had never been at sea before. who did not know what was the matter. discovered a mind superior to prejudice. I said. and was my constant companion and instructor. to my very great sorrow. and made him always eat with him in the cabin. and but once we caught a few fishes. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and a faithful friend. 37 hh-bb. Or GustavusVassa. expecting every moment to be my last. to be very much afraid. he was of very great use to me. and I would peep and watch to see if they were going to kill him: nor was I free from this consternation till we made the land. In our extremities the captain and people told me in jest they would kill and eat me.com . as usual. The ship had a very long passage. they cut off a small part of the tail. on board his majesty's ship the Preston: an event which I have never ceased to regret. and got it on board. and afterwards me. No: then he said he would kill Dick (as he always called him) first. as I thought it would serve the people to eat instead of their eating me. and in return I grew extremely fond of him. but very soon. that I. and would ask me if we did not eat people in my country. He used often to tell him jocularly that he would kill me to eat. Towards the last we had only one pound and a half of bread per week. and was depressed beyond measure. and tossed the rest over the side. to associate with. This gladdened my poor heart exceedingly. and about the same quantity of meat. We spoke with only one vessel the whole time we were at sea. and to think they were going to make an offering with me. and the cries and noise were so great and confused. yet he and I have gone through many sufferings together on shipboard. a stranger. about four or five years older than myself: his name was Richard Baker. Though this hearing relieved my mind a little as to myself. and on that account we had very short allowance of provisions. when he was up the Archipelago. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. While I was in this situation one evening they caught. Sometimes he would say to me--the black people were not good to eat. and I did not know what to think of these white people. been known ever since. for the space of two years. to my astonishment. I was alarmed for Dick and whenever he was called I used to be very much afraid he was to be killed. One night we lost a man overboard. He was a native of America. and we have many nights lain in each other's bosoms when we were in great distress. and to be the friend and instructor of one who was ignorant.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. of a different complexion. with a good deal of trouble. in stopping the ship. We at length became inseparable. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Although this dear youth had many slaves of his own. and was of a most amiable temper. and. All rights are reserved. but I thought them in earnest. Thus such a friendship was cemented between us as we cherished till his death. who. at the age of fifteen. a large shark. though I very much feared they would kill and eat me. happened in the year 1759. had received an excellent education. which. and a slave! My master had lodged in his mother's house in America: he respected him very much. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and one quart of water a-day. This renewed my consternation. began.

and most of the people were busied in getting a barrel of pitch to light. he dismissed me. I thought it was salt.com . Or GustavusVassa. I then asked him what it was. he told me these fish would swallow any body. indeed. but still every time I was called I used to think it was to be killed. I thought they were angry with them: and. and made their appearance just at dusk. and were so near as to blow the water on the ship's deck. when I got upon deck. knowing what it was. and in consequence of it the ship stopped going. and I could not any more that night close my eyes again to rest. I supposed that the fish had performed this. and I took an opportunity to ask him. Every heart on board seemed gladdened on our reaching the shore. However. However. at last. which I still believed they dealt in. when I asked him if any offerings were to be made to them: however. for them to play with. to my great joy. which sufficiently alarmed me. It was about the beginning of the spring 1757 when I arrived in England. He. when daylight appeared I was a little eased in my mind. and a calm ensued. and when I brought it to him he desired me to taste it. every minute peeping and quaking: but my good friend Dick came shortly towards me. and at last the ship arrived at Falmouth. and I was surprised beyond measure. almost without ending. as the white people did not make any offerings at any time.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. This filled my mind with agony. as well as I could. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I was very much struck with the buildings and the pavement of the streets in Falmouth. Not being able to talk much English. the wind just then died away. which I found very cold indeed. all my alarms began to subside when we got sight of land. which I afterwards found were called grampusses. All rights are reserved. any object I saw filled me with new surprise. and. having learned some of my apprehensions from Dick. as well as I could. Some time after this we saw some very large fish. through fear of being offered up to appease them. The captain immediately went on shore. and I expected to be offered up to appease him. I believed them to be the rulers of the sea. and sent on board some fresh provisions. what these fish were. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Here he was called away by the captain. and I was near twelve years of age at that time. As the waves were very high I thought the Ruler of the seas was angry. The barrel of pitch was now lighted and put over the side into the water: by this time it was just dark. I did so. They looked to me extremely terrible. desired me to bring some of it down to him: accordingly I took up a handful of it. and the fish went after it. after a passage of thirteen weeks. what confirmed my belief was. I saw it covered all over with the snow that fell over-night: as I had never seen any thing of the kind before. I could but just make him understand my question. and I hid myself in the fore part of the ship. and our famine was soon turned into feasting. which appeared ludicrous enough in my crying and trembling. 38 hh-bb. The captain now called me to him. and. and. so I immediately ran down to the mate and desired him. I saw them no more. which we wanted very much: we made good use of them. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and not at all. One morning. he told me it was snow: but I Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. who was leaning over the quarter-deck railing and looking at the fish. and having diverted himself and others for some time with my fears. to come and see how somebody in the night had thrown salt all over the deck. and none more than mine.

My master lodged at the house of a gentleman in Falmouth. I likewise could not help remarking the particular slenderness of their women.com . and I have been very much concerned when I found it remained silent. I was very glad I did not let them ornament me in that manner when I was with them. called God: but here again I was to all intents and purposes at a loss to understand him. insomuch that we used to eat together. All rights are reserved. could not in anywise understand him. my little friend Dick used to be my best interpreter. I was astonished at the wisdom of the white people in all things I saw. Or GustavusVassa. my master placed me to board and lodge with one of his mates. As I was now amongst a people who had not their faces scarred. and the more so. It is ludicrous enough. and I thought they were not so modest and shamefaced as the African women. No. and who made it. and they gave me to understand it was worshipping God. and eating with unwashed hands. who had a fine little daughter about six or seven years of age. and then put my ears to it. he told me a great man in the heavens. by stealth. I was so much caressed by this family that it often reminded me of the treatment I had received from my little noble African master. and he always instructed me with pleasure: and from what I could understand by him of this God. and soon got into an endless field of inquiries. and left me in care of this mate. where she was in part owned by a merchant. At last. However. and having never been at such a place before. and touching the dead. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. one night I was sent on board the ship again. I had often seen my master and Dick employed in reading. I cried immediately. and I had a great curiosity to talk to the books. when alone. when a little after I saw the air filled with it. who had a wife and family there. and in a little time we sailed for Guernsey. I was again amazed at seeing and hearing the service. I then asked him the use of it. 39 hh-bb. but the child cried so much after me that nothing could pacify her till I was sent for again. I was still at a great loss. or making any offerings. as he was going away with the ship. and I told him. and in seeing these white people did not sell one another. together with my friend Dick: This mate had a little daughter. After I had been here a few days. which had taken in the tobacco again. After this I went to church. and so to learn how all things had a beginning: for that purpose I have often taken up a book. that I began to fear I should be betrothed to this young lady. and she grew prodigiously fond of me. and said I would not leave her. like some of the African nations where I had been. as I thought they did. He asked me if we had no such thing in my country. and have talked to it. in hopes it would answer me. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. with whom I used to be much Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. which fell down on the same day. I was much pleased. I asked all I could about it. and when my master asked me if I would stay there with her behind him. and had servants to wait on us. one Nicholas Doberry. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. who made us and all things. When we arrived at Guernsey. for I could make free with him. in a heavy shower. I was sent on board of the ship. aged about five or six years. and some months afterwards he went to England. as well as I was able to speak and ask about things. and in this I thought they were much happier than we Africans. as we did. which I did not at first like. but was amazed at their not sacrificing.

At last I was found out also: the man that found me held me up by the heels while they all made their sport of me. and set out for England in a sloop bound for London. after which the gentleman gave the combatants from five to nine shillings each. I began now to pass to an opposite extreme. and then made to fight. till I had seen the boat go off. and searched all about. where the Roebuck lay. and his old mate: on this we all left Guernsey. I remained here till the summer of the year 1757. came to my assistance. This was the first time I ever fought with a white boy. and put them into the boat. whose names I do not now remember. a man of war's boat came alongside to press our people. However my surprise began to diminish as my knowledge increased. This woman behaved to me with great kindness and attention. were now wearing away. I was amazed indeed to see the quantity of men and the guns. 40 hh-bb. one day. and felt tolerably easy in my present situation. where the Roebuck lay. but when she washed mine it did not look so: I therefore tried oftentimes myself if I could not by washing make my face of the same colour as my little play-mate (Mary). I remained in this ship a considerable time.com . who was my conductor. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. after I had been some time in this ship. and brought over several persons of distinction from it. I suppose considerably more than an hour: and at last. my master came on board to us. delighted. and visited a variety of places: among others we were twice in Holland. and. Or GustavusVassa. and did all he could to pacify me. and for some time after. sent for Dick and me. but it was all in vain. and indeed in every respect treated me as such. for we were always together. and I ceased to feel those apprehensions and alarms which had taken such strong possession of me when I first came among the Europeans. and I never knew what it was to have a bloody nose before. and were paired proportionably. all the boys were called on the quarter-deck. during which we made several cruises. and taught me every thing in the same manner as she did her own child. and brought us to the ship. My griefs too. There was a number of boys on board. and I now began to be mortified at the difference in our complexions. I even began to long for a battle. As we were coming up towards the Nore. When I went on board this large ship. On the passage. This made me fight most desperately. I was very much frightened at this. Immediately afterwards the press-gang came on board with their swords drawn. being appointed first lieutenant of his majesty's ship the Roebuck. All rights are reserved. though I did not know what it meant. that. I had often observed that when her mother washed her face it looked very rosy. when my master. seeing this. but all to very little purpose. on which each man ran to hide himself. However I went and hid myself also under a hencoop. both of us Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. which still made it more agreeable. and I soon enjoyed myself pretty well. I was so far from being afraid of any thing new which I saw. or what to think or do. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and a great part of our time was spent in play. to our great joy. which in young minds are not perpetual.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. pulled the people out by force. for the diversion of those gentlemen. Soon afterwards we came to the Nore. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I roaring and crying out all the time most lustily: but at last the mate.

without having been in any action. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and from thence to the Orkneys. for England. where we remained some short time. but I always said I would rather die than suffer it. We returned to Portsmouth. and she proved to be the Ambuscade man of war. Guerin. Dick and I were sent on board her. and met with a fine large French-built frigate. But the very moment the word of command was given to fire we heard those on board the other ship cry 'Haul down the jib. One evening. George's Hospital. George man of war. till my master sent for us to London. for I had at this time the chilblains to such a degree that I could not stand for several months.com . This gentleman had two sisters. just as it was growing dark. so that I was again confined. we received no answer. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. After being there several weeks. and I was several times made to fire the guns. All this time we had never come to an engagement. There was instantly with us an amazing cry of-Avast! or stop firing. just at the trial of Admiral Byng (whom I saw several times during it): and my master having left the ship. and I thought myself now particularly unfortunate. Or GustavusVassa. Dick and I were put on board the Savage sloop of war. We got all things immediately ready for fighting. then new at Deptford. I had a great deal of this kind of sport afterwards. that the doctors wanted to cut my left leg off at different times. we were standing off shore. and by this time my master having been promoted to be first lieutenant of the Preston man of war of fifty guns. and soon after we went to Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Dick and I were sent on shore at Deal. which was the cause of our firing. we were parted. but happily they did no mischief. and I think one or two guns had been let off. when I arrived in it I was unfortunately unable to gratify my curiosity. where we were received by a Mr. that had ran ashore somewhere on the coast. There I grew so ill. After staying a few weeks on board the Savage. full of soldiers. and just as I had recovered. The boat was then sent on board of her. the place I had long desired exceedingly to see. and gone to London for promotion. though we were frequently cruising off the coast of France: during which we chased many vessels. Sometime afterwards the ship went to Leith in Scotland. and happily (I thank God) I recovered without the operation. and I now expected I should be gratified in seeing an engagement. being weary. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. who took much notice and great care of me. but they not hearing. and I was obliged to be sent to St. in which the captain and the ship's company used very much to encourage me. and took in all seventeen prizes. off Havre de Grace. We had hailed them several times. and came to London. All rights are reserved. which I had so long wished for in vain. very amiable ladies. However I soon recovered again. 41 hh-bb. to my no small disappointment. Though I had desired so much to see London. I had been learning many of the manoeuvres of the ship during our cruise. and we went in her to assist in bringing off the St. where I was surprised in seeing scarcely any night: and from thence we sailed with a great fleet. apprehending a mortification. We therefore both with great pleasure got into a waggon. the small-pox broke out on me. a relation of my master.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.' and in that instant she hoisted English colours.

men. our fleet being increased to a prodigious number of ships of all kinds. Holland to bring over the late Duke of ---. which we soon made. who was going with a large fleet on an expedition against Louisburgh.com . in Halifax. though trifling. we were driven to Teneriffe. which I had never seen before. My master was not many weeks on board before he got an appointment to be sixth lieutenant of the Namur. 42 hh-bb. after which. and sailed. in the Lenox. Admiral Cornish. Or GustavusVassa. Here were also shops or stalls of every kind of goods. Its prodigious height. the blue at the maintop-gallant mast head. and considering it then as a judgment of God. There was a very great fleet of men of war of every description assembled together for this expedition. by contrary winds. One morning a young man was looking up to the fore-top. whose affability made him highly esteemed and beloved by all the men. and within six or seven days he lost it. From this ship my master was appointed a lieutenant on board the Royal George. where we had fish in great plenty. When he was going he wished me to stay on board the Preston. and then parted. George. To me it appeared a little world. and I was in hopes soon to have an opportunity of being gratified with a sea-fight. and the largeness of the guns. which he returned. The crew of the Royal George were turned over to her. and children. but. and in a wicked tone. and got into a very commodious harbour called St. The two fleets continued in company for several days. and its form. to whom I was very warmly attached. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. as I could not help taking particular notice of it. We were here joined by different men of war and transport ships with soldiers. destined for the East Indies) at last weighed anchor. fitting up for Viceadmiral Boscawen. to learn the French horn. but the ship being ordered for Turkey I could not think of leaving my master. which. so that when I came on board of her I was surprised at the number of people. Just at the moment some small particles of dirt fell into his left eye. of every denomination. We did not stay long here. and the flag of that gallant admiral was hoisted on board. where I was struck with its noted peak. whom I embraced at parting for the last time. We remained in sight of this island some days. having first saluted our admiral in the Namur. d----d his eyes about something. and I told him if he left me behind it would break my heart. for I had no longer my dear companion Dick. All rights are reserved. this mighty fleet (for there was also Admiral Cornish's fleet in company. women. and all other fresh provisions. and then proceeded for America.--While I was in this ship an incident happened.to England. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. which was then at Spithead. into which I was again cast without a friend. and by the evening it was very much inflamed. I beg leave to relate. resembling a sugar-loaf. many of them also of brass. All things being now in readiness. and people crying their different commodities about the ship as in a town. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. but he left Dick on board the Preston. we sailed for Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. We had the good and gallant General Wolfe on board our ship. filled me with wonder. We then steered for America. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. This prevailed on him to take me with him. common on shipboard. The next day it grew worse. The Royal George was the largest ship I had ever seen.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.

I saw this king's ornaments too. well ornamented with pendants. that one day I saw some of the ships set on fire by the shells from the batteries. who. about fifty boats belonging to the English men of war. As soon as every thing here was settled Admiral Boscawen sailed with part of the fleet for England. followed by the other officers in order of seniority. He often honoured me. and another junior captain. to my very great joy.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. with marks of his notice. for I had now more liberty of indulging myself. On this occasion our ships were dressed with colours of all kinds. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. When the ships were in the harbour we had the most beautiful procession on the water I ever saw. superintended the landing. and in their barges. and the English men of war came into the harbour before it. but at last they were driven from their trenches. to take possession. and passed out at his cheek. I had that day in my hand the scalp of an indian king. from the topgallant-mast head to the deck. We arrived at Cape Breton in the summer of 1758: and here the soldiers were to be landed. but a sixty-four. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. came alongside of the Namur.com . Our troops pursued them as far as the town of Louisbourgh. The French were posted on the shore to receive us. and I went often on shore. in order to make an attack upon Louisbourgh. This they did with such effect. Our land forces laid siege to the town of Louisbourgh. came on board our ship to dine. they brought off. In this action many were killed on both sides. formed a most grand and magnificent spectacle. and this. The vice-admiral then went on shore in his barge. All rights are reserved. who was pleased to notice me. and saved me once a flogging for fighting with a young gentleman. leaving some ships behind with Rear-admirals Sir Charles Hardy and Durell. At another time. of the town and fort. and no consideration could have induced me to leave him. At last Louisbourgh was taken. and here I was in a small measure gratified in seeing an encounter between our men and the enemy. as well as other boys. as I suppose. and I believe two or three of them were quite burnt. During my stay here I had often an opportunity of being near Captain Balfour. full dressed. during our passage home. as well as my master. My master had some part in superintending the landing. and disputed our landing for a long time. All the admirals and captains of the men of war. attacked and boarded the only two remaining French men of war in the harbour. called the Bienfaisant. and while his mouth was open a musquet ball went through it. Some time after this the French governor and his lady. and one evening. One thing remarkable I saw this day:--A lieutenant of the Princess Amelia. while the French men of war were blocked up in the harbour by the fleet. and made of feathers. and a complete landing was effected. Laforey. They also set fire to a seventy-gun ship. with the firing of guns. commanded by Captain George Balfour of the Aetna fire-ship. 43 hh-bb. was giving the word of command. Or GustavusVassa. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. but he would not part with me. who was killed in the engagement: the scalp had been taken off by an Highlander. which were very curious. It was now winter. and liked me so much that he often asked my master to let him have me. and other persons of note. the batteries at the same time playing upon them from the land.

However we gave them chase. that we heard her people talk as she went by. if not faster. when we were in the channel. the seventy-four gun ship we had passed came again by us in the very same direction. hoisted their ensigns. and a little after the topmast came close by us. thinking they were sure of this French ship. This caused another loud cheer with us. supposing the man of war would likewise strike. and we had our lower and middle deck guns housed in. yet not a shot was fired on either side. but the next day they were out of sight. and continued pursuing them all night. we must have taken her. who were one or two ships in number more than we. all large ships of the line. or near soundings. commanded by Mons. a prize they had taken. though if we had fired into her. and each gave the French ships a broadside as they passed by. All rights are reserved. and about five or six o'clock. the sea rough. Immediately many things were tossed overboard. and the Indiaman also. we descried seven sail of large men of war. they might have done us great mischief. we cheered.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. we wore ship. Nothing could create greater surprise and confusion among us than this: the wind was high. who was the next ship astern of the Namur. the Royal William and the Somerset being our sternmost ships. and our admiral ordered his flag to be hoisted. The sea grew now much smoother. On this we made a signal for the other ships to take possession of her. the ships were made ready for fighting as soon as possible. to our great surprise. about dusk. but still continued to follow us. We chased them all day till between three and four o'clock in the evening. I afterwards heard this was a French squadron. But we were not long before we were prepared for an engagement. but immediately hauled them down again. and an English East Indiaman. Conflans. and some of our people even began to name some of the ships. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.com . and at daylight we saw six of them. instead of coming up with her. However. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and about ten at night we had bent a new main sail. which were French. and gave us a broadside as they passed by. we found she went as fast as ever. who now hoisted her colours. when we came up with. and had a mind to fight us. but she did not. as the two fleets were (in forty minutes from the first sight) within hail of each other. and we only had the old Indiaman (called Carnarvon I think) for our trouble. and passed within a musquet shot of. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. We chased all night. and. By this time both fleets began to mingle. running from us with all speed. and stood after the French fleet. and were beginning to look for land. that they were English men of war. and certainly had the Frenchmen known our condition. Several people on board of our ship said. Or GustavusVassa. which stood off shore. so that we saw no more of them. Being now in readiness for fighting. one seventy-four gun ship. and about four o'clock he carried his foretopmast overboard. they cheered in the same manner. The French Commodore was about a gun-shot ahead of all. 44 hh-bb. just as it grew dark. but. At that instant the other fleet. and the wind lulling. made way likewise. the old one being split. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. To my utter surprise the Somerset. so that not a single gun on board was ready to be fired at any of the French ships. from being so near. she joined her commodore. became a little prepared. and. and so near.

Or GustavusVassa. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Helen's. We stayed for a short time at Spithead. All rights are reserved. and my master and I soon followed.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. as we wanted some hands to complete our complement. and also another large ship astern of us. and soon made the land. and. by starting our water. and then went into Portsmouth harbour to refit. from whence the admiral went to London. 45 hh-bb.com . we got safe to St. and tossing many things overboard to lighten her. After this we stood in for the channel. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. about the close of the year 1758-9. we got the ships off without any damage. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Here the Namur ran aground. but. with a press-gang.

I now not only felt myself quite easy with these new countrymen. and my attachment and gratitude to him were very great. Or GustavusVassa. that I was filled with at the first sight of the Europeans. That fear. and for this purpose I took every opportunity to gain instruction. to imbibe their spirit. and for some time afterwards. CHAPTER. in that respect at least.Surrender of Belle-Isle--Transactions afterwards on the coast of France--Remarkable instance of kidnapping--The author returns to England--Hears a talk of peace. Le Clue. for my master treated me always extremely well. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. however. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. with his manner of extricating himself--. when I first came among them. It was now between two and three years since I first came to England. and began to consider myself as happily situated. almost an Englishman. but as men superior to us. All rights are reserved. I soon grew a stranger to terror of every kind. The author is baptized--Narrowly escapes drowning--Goes on an expedition to the Mediterranean--Incidents he met with there--Is witness to an engagement between some English and French ships--A particular account of the celebrated engagement between Admiral Boscawen and Mons. from whom he experiences much benevolence--Prepares for an expedition against Belle-Isle--A remarkable story of a disaster which befel his ship--Arrives at Belle-Isle--Operations of the landing and siege--The author's danger and distress. I had long wished to be able to read and write. and expects his freedom--His ship sails for Deptford to be paid off. and every new thing that I observed I treasured up in my memory. I therefore embraced every occasion of improvement. and imitate their manners. I have often reflected with surprise that I never felt half the alarm at any of the numerous dangers I have been in. but had made as yet very little Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and was. From the various scenes I had beheld on shipboard. and I perfectly understood every thing that was said. IV. 46 hh-bb. off Cape Logas. I could now speak English tolerably well. in August 1759--Dreadful explosion of a French ship--The author sails for England--His master appointed to the command of a fire-ship--Meets a negro boy. but relished their society and manners. even the most trifling. a great part of which I had spent at sea. so that I became inured to that service. which was the effect of my ignorance. and therefore I had the stronger desire to resemble them. wore away as I began to know them. and when he arrives there he is suddenly seized by his master and carried forcibly on board a West India ship and sold.com . and at every act of theirs. I no longer looked upon them as spirits. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted.

I was sometimes. abusing us for taking the boat. to my no small grief. but for the assistance of some watermen who providentially came to my relief. and afterwards gave me a treat. Westminster. not being able to swim. I used to attend these ladies about the town. but just as I had got one of my feet into the other boat the boys shoved it off. and got under way. after receiving from them many friendly cautions how to conduct myself. in which service I was extremely happy. 47 hh-bb. however. was ordered on board. Or GustavusVassa. when to my great joy she told me I should. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. with a large fleet. as I had thus many opportunities of seeing London. so that I fell into the Thames. Shortly after my arrival. which I desired of all things. which I gladly embraced. and. gave me a book. All rights are reserved. with his gang. Accordingly I went to get out of the wherry I was in. I had soon an opportunity of improving myself. However. having weighed anchor. and they sent me to school. and always attended while I stayed in London. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. On one of these occasions there was another boy with me in a wherry. which was now ready to put to sea. who soon came on board. Margaret's church. with other boys. She had formerly asked my master to let me be baptized. I was obliged to leave my schoolmaster. and some valuable presents. The clergyman. progress. the Miss Guerins. however she now insisted on it. he sent me to wait upon the Miss Guerins. I found we were destined for the Mediterranean. written by the Bishop of Sodor and Man. and we went out into the current of the river: while we were there two more stout boys came to us in another wherry. who had treated me with much kindness when I was there before. Here I used to enjoy myself in playing about the bridge stairs. The Namur being again got ready for sea. for I had now some faint idea of a future state: accordingly I communicated my anxiety to the eldest Miss Guerin. without uneasiness and regret. with whom I was become a favourite. When I came to Spithead. Nor did I leave my kind patronesses. Sailed for the Mediterranean. desired me to get into the other wherry-boat. and took great pains to instruct me in the principles of religion and the knowledge of God. called a Guide to the Indians. While I was attending these ladies their servants told me I could not go to Heaven unless I was baptized. at the same time. and about the beginning of the spring 1759. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. We only waited for the arrival of the admiral. with my master at his rendezvous-house. They often used to teach me to read. to repair on board with my master.com . by my present name. I should unavoidably have been drowned. but he had refused. in February 1759. when I went to London with my master. and he being under some obligation to her brother complied with her request. my master. and often in the watermen's wherries. whom I liked very much. which was at the foot of Westminster-bridge. and pressed her to have me baptized. and. This made me very uneasy. and. On this occasion Miss Guerin did me the honour to stand as godmother. I therefore parted from those amiable ladies with reluctance.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. so I was baptized in St. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.

As soon as she arrived. and agreed to go with him. which he did immediately after. and. and I had as often expressed my anxiety for her fate. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. After we had cruised here for a short time. While we were at Gibraltar. and used often to interpret for the admiral. where we were one night overtaken with a terrible gale of wind. the ship rolled so much. and when the captain came on board of our ship. and the Spanish soldiers were stationed along the shore. I saw a soldier hanging by his heels. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. when I was on shore. while my heart leaped for joy: and. Here the ships were all to be watered. One day. Or GustavusVassa. had tents pitched in the bay. one of them told me he knew where my sister was. who had gone in her when she sailed for Turkey. and I regarded them as a memorial of my friend. While we were here I used to be often on shore. who spoke different languages. Dick. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. indeed. At another time I saw the master of a frigate towed to shore on a grating. 48 hh-bb. though all the guns were well housed. All rights are reserved. much greater than any I had ever yet experienced.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and in eleven days. I learned from the boat's crew that the dear youth was dead! and that they had brought his chest. On board the same ship there was also a sailor hung up at the yard-arm. there was great reason to fear their getting loose. I was much rejoiced at this news. and expected every minute to embrace him. who was so like my sister. but. from the Land's End. remarkable for its silk manufactures. I suppose to see that no depredations were committed by our men. the story of my being kidnapped with my sister. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. For that purpose he and the officers of the other ships. I had frequently told several people. at first sight. After lying at Gibraltar for some time. I ran to inquire after my friend. we sailed up the Mediterranean a considerable way above the Gulf of Lyons. and mentioning these circumstances to some persons. and discharged the fleet. he would bring me to her. whom I loved. as a brother. at one of the moles[L]: I thought this a strange sight. and if they had it must have proved our destruction. The sea ran so high that. by several of the men of war's boats. I found her to be of another nation. in my excursions on shore. we got to Gibraltar.com . as I had seen a man hanged in London by his neck. and very cheap. on talking to her. and. he conducted me to a black young woman. Improbable as this story was I believed it immediately. my master told me I should now see my old companion. a Spanish sea-port. While we lay here the Preston came in from the Levant. and my master. and my sorrow at having never met her again. if I would accompany him. superintended the watering of ours. to my master: these he afterwards gave to me. and got various fruits in great plenty. as I have related before. we came to Barcelona. and grieved for. and all his other things. and of our being separated. who were on the same service. that. with inexpressible sorrow. which I understood was a mark of disgrace for cowardice. I really thought it was her: but I was quickly undeceived.

and many people of all stations. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. being on shore. in bending their sails and slipping their cables. and sold them to us much cheaper than I got them in England. Here I could have exclaimed with Ajax. I afterwards sailed with a man who fought in one of the French batteries during the engagement. so that I could not fall. They soon came up to the Frenchmen. and our admiral. which diverted me very much. though not without much difficulty: and a little after some of the people left the other frigate also. about seven o'clock in the evening we were alarmed by signals from the frigates stationed for that purpose. After the ships were watered. sent two ships in after them--the Culloden and the Conqueror. The Spanish officers here treated our officers with great politeness and attention. in our cruise. and they were otherwise so much shattered. slip their cables and follow us. and arrived there about August 1759. hurry and confusion throughout the whole fleet. and for a long time a constant firing was kept up on all sides at an amazing rate. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. After this we sailed for Gibraltar. one day the admiral. my imperfect skill in horsemanship all the while affording them no small entertainment. our ships did not venture to bring her away. that the admiral was obliged to send in many boats to tow them back to the fleet. and in this confusion of making ready for fighting we set out for sea in the dark after the French fleet. we came off a place where there were two small French frigates lying in shore. with most of the principal officers. and all our lieutenants were employed amongst the fleet to tell the ships not to wait for their captains. in particular. thinking to take or destroy them. We shewed lights from the gun-whale to the main topmast-head. They used also to bring wine down to us in hog and sheep skins. Or GustavusVassa. The admiral immediately came on board with some other officers. which they as furiously returned. While we were in this situation. and they played upon our ships most furiously. I used constantly to attend my master. At last one frigate sunk. Here we remained with all our sails unbent. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. we returned to our old station of cruizing off Toulon. they were so much annoyed from the batteries. and I saw a smart fight here. and just passing through the streights. and it is impossible to describe the noise. We had two captains on board of our ship who came away in the hurry and left their ships to follow.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.com . while the fleet was watering and doing other necessary things. All rights are reserved. where they would sometimes divert themselves by mounting me on the horses or mules. 49 hh-bb. and I was charmed with this place. but the people escaped. used to come often to my master's tent to visit him. One Sunday. All the time we stayed it was like a fair with the natives. for the purpose of intercepting a fleet of French men of war that lay there. However. and some of them. who brought us fruits of all kinds. which was a mere wreck. which raked them both in going and coming: their topmasts were shot away. but to put the sails to the yards. and in an instant there was a general cry that the French fleet was out. many people and ships' boats were left on shore in the bustle. and setting them off at full gallop. and he told me our ships had done considerable mischief that day on shore and in the batteries. both by sea and land: for the frigates were covered by batteries.

an eighty-four gun ship: as we passed they all fired on us.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. during which I was frequently stunned with the thundering of the great guns. which was immediately proclaimed with loud huzzas and acclamations. La Modeste. whose dreadful contents hurried many of my companions into awful eternity. and launched into eternity. but we. who. in the twinkling of an eye. I never beheld a more awful scene. but made us lie on our bellies on the deck till we came quite close to the Ocean. that seemed to rend every element around us. finding it impossible to get the ships off. The rest of the French ships took to flight with all the sail they could crowd. were dashed in pieces. he went after the French. set fire to them both. with a most dreadful explosion. La Clue. and quite disabled from pursuing the enemy.com . on the coast of Portugal. who was ahead of them all. and some other ships. and here I was a witness of the dreadful fate of many of my companions. of sixty-four guns. 50 hh-bb. endeavouring to escape. All rights are reserved. Mons. and went in the broken and only boat we had left on board the Newark. called the Redoubtable. About midnight I saw the Ocean blow up. and I saw him carried down Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and. Towards the latter part of it my master was wounded. our gallant admiral only fought them with his own division. We took three prizes. and we continued engaged with each other for some time. Notwithstanding which our admiral would not suffer a gun to be fired at any of them. when our ships came up with them. "Oh Jove! O father! if it be thy will That we must perish. But let us perish by the light of day. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. continuing to do so for some time. We immediately chased them till about four o'clock in the evening. to my astonishment. so that we were just ship for ship. though we were about fifteen large ships. My station during the engagement was on the middle-deck. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. ran ashore at Cape Logas. and Le Temeraire and Centaur. In less than a minute the midnight for a certain space seemed turned into day by the blaze. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. We passed by the whole of the enemy's fleet in order to come at their commander. The Ocean. and another large French ship. the admiral immediately quitted her. At last the French line was entirely broken. Happily I escaped unhurt. which consisted of seven. The engagement now commenced with great fury on both sides: the Ocean immediately returned our fire. of seventy-four guns each. who was in the Ocean." They had got the start of us so far that we were not able to come up with them during the night. and the French admiral and some of the crew got ashore. Our ship being very much damaged. and at one time three of them fired together. to bring powder to the aftermost gun. which was attended with a noise louder and more terrible than thunder. we thy will obey. but at daylight we saw seven sail of the line of battle some miles ahead. when we had orders to pour the whole three tiers into her at once. Or GustavusVassa. with which. and we obtained the victory. where I was quartered with another boy. though the shot and splinters flew thick about me during the whole fight.

Or GustavusVassa. with the prizes. and. it took us some time before we were completely refitted. for. the admiral appointed him captain of the Aetna fire-ship. I was one day in a field belonging to a gentleman who had a black boy about my own size. and went through the whole of my duty with alacrity. the powder ran all about the deck. very much exposed to the enemy's shots. the bottoms of many of them proving rotten. but about that time the king died: whether that prevented the expedition I know not. but though I was much alarmed for him and wished to assist him I dared not leave my post. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. we returned to Spithead and joined a large fleet that was thought to be intended against the Havannah. was transported at the sight of one of his own countrymen. so that we were obliged to get many carpenters. I instantly cast off all fear or thought whatever of death. I expected therefore every minute to be my last. I was much on shore all about this delightful island. When we arrived at Spithead the Aetna went into Portsmouth harbour to refit. cheering myself with the reflection that there was a time allotted for me to die as well as to be born. that our mizen-mast and main-yard. On the passage. as there was a school on board. of relating it and the dangers I had escaped to the dear Miss Guerin. on which he and I left the Namur. The latter I had learned a little of before I left the Namur. At this station my gun-mate (a partner in bringing powder for the same gun) and I ran a very great risk for more than half an hour of blowing up the ship. which surprised me agreeably. besides the number of our killed and wounded.com . she was almost torn to pieces. if I survived the battle. when we had taken the cartridges out of the boxes. in which situation I was very happy: for I was extremely well treated by all on board. to assist in setting us in some tolerable order. at first I thought it would be safest not to go for the powder till the Frenchmen had fired their broadside. and then. notwithstanding. pleasing myself with the hope. wishing to guard as much against the dangers as possible. and as soon as my master was something recovered of his wounds. from our employment. and. and I had leisure to improve myself in reading and writing. and we. We were also. which being done. and others. All rights are reserved. till the beginning of the year sixty-one. and went on board of her at sea. while they were charging. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I met with a trifling incident.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. for we had to go through nearly the whole length of the ship to bring the powder. Our ship suffered very much in this engagement. Here I spent my time very pleasantly. and others from some of the ships of the fleet. steered for England. but it caused our ship to be stationed at Cowes. While I was here. I liked this little ship very much. but. I could go and come with my powder: but immediately afterwards I thought this caution was fruitless. hung over the side of the ship. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. in the isle of Wight. after which we left Admiral Broderick to command. especially when I saw our men fall so thick about me. For. and ran to meet me with the utmost Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. &c. I now became the captain's steward. to the surgeon. near the match tub: we scarcely had water enough at the last to throw on it. when I should return to London. and found the inhabitants very civil. this boy having observed me from his master's house. 51 hh-bb. and our rigging so much shattered.

Captain Clark. most fearfully--'The Lord have mercy upon us! We are all lost! The Lord have mercy upon us!' Mr. However. being terrified with a dream. and every event which I considered as marvellous. When we got ready. and endeavoured to compose himself to sleep. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Peter to repent. and he immediately got a light. All rights are reserved. when our ship had orders to fit out again for another expedition. and we were instantly struck by the Lynne. a man of very indifferent morals. One night. Mondle had got four steps from his cabin-door. made no small impression on my mind. his mind still continuing in a state of agony. and soon afterwards he laid himself down again on his bed. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. but to no purpose: he soon came close to me and caught hold of me in his arms as if I had been his brother. This benevolent boy and I were very happy in frequently seeing each other till about the month of March 1761. He immediately told those on the deck of the agonies of his mind. which nearly ran us down. and all at once I heard the people in the waist cry out. We had on board a gunner. who told him time was short. After we had talked together for some time he took me to his master's house. his agitation still continuing. We had not been above ten days at sea before an incident of this kind happened. nor even remain in his cabin. Or GustavusVassa. I had a mind on which every thing uncommon made its full impression. After which. By this time it was exactly half after seven in the morning: I was then under the half-deck at the great cabin door. Every extraordinary escape. This ship had just put about. immediately ran out of his cabin. abreast of the quarter-deck ladder. where I was treated very kindly. she struck Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. or signal deliverance. or we must all have perished. and some of his shipmates who heard him only laughed at him. Mondle hearing the cries. and the dream which occasioned it. in which he said he had seen many things very awful. he began to read the Scriptures. and he went upon deck about four o'clock in the morning extremely agitated. This man's cabin was between the decks. We sailed once more in quest of fame. the 20th of April. he awoke in so great a fright that he could not rest in his bed any longer.com . 52 hh-bb. commanded by Commodore Keppel. we joined a very large fleet at Spithead. I looked upon to be effected by the interposition of Providence. whatever credit it may obtain from the reader. though we had never seen each other before. haste. People generally mock the fears of others when they are themselves in safety. and gave away his sea-stores of liquor. exactly over where I lay.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. before Mr. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. However. hoping to find some relief. either of myself or others. a forty-gun ship. whose name was John Mondle. I not knowing what he was about turned a little out of his way at first. which was destined against Belle-Isle. which. he made a vow that he never would drink strong liquors again. but had not got full headway. for the wind was brisk. and he was determined to alter his life. I longed to engage in new adventures and see fresh wonders. and with a number of transport ships with troops on board to make a descent on the place. This he said had greatly alarmed him. and was by the wind. and had been warned by St. but to no purpose.

and he was so near being killed that some of the splinters tore his face. and encouraged our people to return and try to save her. 53 hh-bb. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. he never quitted the ship. Every one thought that the mother and child must be both dashed to pieces. and then we had all things taken out of the ship. and one night. and to call daily on his holy name with fear and reverence: and I trust he heard my supplications. All rights are reserved. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. which he. Or GustavusVassa. particularly frapping her together with many hawsers. I could not help regarding this as an awful interposition of Providence for his preservation. but. the captain came on board again. and in many more instances. she was kept together: but it was well we did not meet with any gales of wind.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. from their insignificance. and graciously condescended to answer me according to his holy word. as well as myself. immediately sent their boats to our assistance. And in the same ship a man fell from the mast-head on the deck without being hurt. our ship with her cutwater right in the middle of his bed and cabin. seeing our situation. Many on this came back. I believe had a great influence on his life and conduct ever afterwards. for ours being a fire-ship. Mondle. but it took us the whole day to save the ship with all their help. at Plymouth. without whose permission a sparrow cannot fall. or we must have gone to pieces. This escape of Mr. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. when I was on board. to our great surprise. near the keel. Mondle's cabin stood. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. even one of the meanest of his creatures. I myself one day fell headlong from the upper-deck of the Aetna down the after-hold. and ran it up to the combings of the quarter-deck hatchway. and above three feet below water. but our lieutenant being the aggressor. our grappling-irons caught the Lynne every way. However. fell from the upper-deck down into the hold. And by using every possible means.com . with a child at her breast. when we found she did not sink immediately. Some of the ships in the fleet. neither of them was hurt. Now that I am on this subject I beg leave to relate another instance or two which strongly raised my belief of the particular interposition of Heaven. but some would not venture. The two ships for some time swinged alongside of each other. and the yards and rigging went at an astonishing rate. the place of our destination. when the ballast was out. and every one ran for their lives. Our ship was in such a shocking condition that we all thought she would instantly go down. I began to raise my fear from man to him alone. and got as well as they could on board the Lynne. and to implant the seeds of piety in me. and putting a great quantity of tallow below water where she was damaged. a woman. of fifty-four guns. In these. always considered as a singular act of Providence. and she was properly repaired. and which might not otherwise have found a place here. I thought I could plainly trace the hand of God. for we were in such a crazy condition that we had ships to attend us till we arrived at Belle-Isle. I belonged for a few days in the year 1758 to the Jason. As Mr. and all who saw me fall cried out I was killed: but I received not the least injury. and in a minute there was not a bit of wood to be seen where Mr. Mondle must inevitably have perished from this accident had he not been alarmed in the very extraordinary way I have related.

which I thought I would now mount. only a small part of them this day being able to effect it. and instantly took the centinel off his post into custody. and that not without running a very great risk. I wanted very much to see the mode of charging the mortars and letting off the shells. reprimanded me very severely for it. and all things were in readiness for attacking the place. and had made every disposition to oppose the landing of our men. with a number of others. were cut off. There. This was on the 8th of April.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Where it burst the earth was torn in such a manner that two or three butts might easily have gone into the hole it made. Three shot were also fired at me and another boy who was along with me. When I saw what perilous circumstances I was in. after a sharp encounter. indeed. I had an opportunity of completely gratifying myself in seeing the whole operation. One of the largest of their shells bursted within nine or ten yards of me: there was a single rock close by. about the size of a butt. lest they should fall into our hands. the troops on board the transports were ordered to disembark. Accordingly I took some cord which I had Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. who commanded the outposts. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. which it shattered to pieces. were taken prisoners. I attempted to return the nearest way I could find. and for that purpose I went to an English battery that was but a very few yards from the walls of the citadel. while all the men of war were stationed along the shore to cover it. but likewise from those of the French. and one day. The French were drawn up on the shore. In this day's engagement we had also our lieutenant killed. and struck a rock at a little distance. my curiosity almost cost me my life. and my master. belonging to some islanders." for with a most dreadful sound it hissed close by me. particularly. when our soldiers effected a safe landing. An English serjeant. most of them. While I was in this situation I observed at a little distance a French horse. both from the English shells that burst while I was there. and I got instant shelter under it in time to avoid the fury of the shell. 54 hh-bb. one of them in particular seemed "Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage. Before the enemy retreated they blew up several of them.com . and General Crawford. They immediately attacked the French. had a share in the command of the landing. as a junior captain. Our men now proceeded to besiege the citadel. All rights are reserved. seeing me. and fired at the French batteries and breastworks from early in the morning till about four o'clock in the evening. and surprised how I came there. (which was by stealth along the seashore). The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and. for his negligence in suffering me to pass the lines. and my master was ordered on shore to superintend the landing of all the materials necessary for carrying on the siege. Or GustavusVassa. for the greater expedition of getting off. and it threw great quantities of stones and dirt to a considerable distance. forced them from the batteries. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. While I was there I went about to different parts of the island. When we had refitted our ship. and thereby I got between the English and the French centinels. after fighting with great bravery. in which service I mostly attended him. On the 21st of April we renewed our efforts to land the men.

by Commodore Stanhope. and thereby the Frenchman got off. at other times with boats. Lord Howe. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. where we blocked up a French fleet. and in the bomb-proofs under it. but the Nassau could not bring a gun to bear upon her. and this he effectually did. and returned to Portsmouth. and Commodore Dennis afterwards sent our ship as a cartel to Bayonne in France[M]. I now could not stop my horse. he began to lash my horse with it so severely. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. which were cut in the solid rock. after which[N] we went in February in 1762 to Belle-Isle. with some others commanded by Commodore Stanhope in the Swiftsure. and making a kind of bridle of it. Commodores Stanhope. and fortunately escaped unhurt. but each time we sent boats with graplings. for.com . having a fine large whip. and the tame beast very quietly suffered me to tie him thus and mount him. 55 hh-bb. went to Basse-road. When this place was taken I went through the citadel. told him my case. behind the isle of I de Re: the tide being complicated. that he set off full speed with me towards the sea. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I immediately stopped. she came within a gun shot of the Nassau. During the siege I have counted above sixty shells and carcases in the air at once. which I did immediately with a great deal of dexterity. Dennis. While I was creeping along. and I thought it a surprising place. crying. In this manner I went along till I came to a craggy precipice. when it surrendered. while I was quite unable to hold or manage him. and in that time I saw a great many scenes of war. and begged of him to help me. and towed them safe out of the fleet. I put it round the horse's head. and stratagems on both sides to destroy each others fleet. both for strength and building: notwithstanding which our shots and shells had made amazing devastation. Our ships were there from June till February following. which he appeared fully disposed to do: I therefore thought I had better throw myself off him at once. and then let them float down with the tide. &c. As soon as I found myself at liberty I made the best of my way for the ship. We had different commanders while we were at this place. our ship and the Wasp sloop were sent to St. but all to very little purpose: I could not drive him out of a slow pace. and try every means to make him go quick. and ruinous heaps all around it. Sometimes we would attack the French with some ships of the line. Or GustavusVassa. We continued to besiege the citadel till June. and. Once or twice the French attacked us by throwing shells with their bomb-vessels: and one day as a French vessel was throwing shells at our ships she broke from her springs. determined I would not be so fool-hardy again in a hurry. As soon as I was on the horse's back I began to kick and beat him. After the taking of this island our ships. I met with a servant well mounted on an English horse. and there stayed till the summer. and my mind was filled with apprehensions of my deplorable fate should he go down the precipice. before the Spanish war began. All rights are reserved. We were twice attacked by their fire-floats. when we left it. Sebastian in Spain. and frequently we made prizes. still within reach of the enemy's shot.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. From hence. which they chained together. about me. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.

explaining many passages to me. There was also one Daniel Queen. Or GustavusVassa. and that when our ship was paid off. and remained there till the latter end of November. and would never suffer me to deceive him. and when I used to play at marbles or any other game. where I was very glad to see my old hostess. which I did not comprehend. In short. and gave me a smattering of arithmetic as far as the rule of three. who was now a widow. This gave me new life and spirits. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. as I was as free as himself or any other man on board. We received this news with loud huzzas. Indeed I almost loved him with the affection of a son. a man very well educated. and many a time we have sat up the whole night together at this employment. and every other demonstration of gladness. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. or tell lies. and see them again. He taught me to shave and dress hair a little. for shaving any one. and that if I did so God would not Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and my former little charming companion. and reposed in me an unbounded confidence. till October. After our ship was fitted out again for service. I used to tell him of this resemblance. and took very great pains to instruct me in many things. Fortunately this man soon became very much attached to me. we went into the harbour. I used to buy him a little sugar or tobacco. We parted from each other with a great deal of affection. for I always had a great desire to be able at least to read and write. I spent some time here very happily with them. 56 hh-bb. Our ship having arrived at Portsmouth. I was wonderfully surprised to see the laws and rules of my country written almost exactly here. and also to read in the Bible. he would instruct me in his business. by which I might gain a good livelihood. he even paid attention to my morals. and. Many things I have denied myself that he might have them. or got any little money. and my heart burned within me. and nothing but mirth was to be seen throughout every part of the ship. to our very great joy. I thought now of nothing but being freed. about forty years of age. who messed with me on board this ship. and I promised to return soon. he always treated me with the greatest kindness. While I was in the Aetna particularly. when we heard great talk about peace. when we had orders to repair to Portsmouth. as far as my stock of money would go. besides the assurances I had received that he had no right to detain me. and while I was on shipboard I had endeavoured to improve myself in both. in the beginning of December we had orders to go up to London with our ship to be paid off.com . and some even used to call me after his name. a circumstance which I believe tended to impress our manners and customs more deeply on my memory. I too was not without my share of the general joy on this occasion. of which he used to tell me the consequences. the captain's clerk taught me to write. he was like a father to me. in September she went to Guernsey. and he likewise dressed and attended the captain. that he and I never should part. yet. her daughter. and working for myself. He used to say. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. while I thought the time long till I obtained my freedom. not knowing what all-powerful fate had determined for me. All rights are reserved. they also styled me the black Christian. which I sometimes did.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. For though my master had not promised it to me. and won a few half-pence. and thereby getting money to enable me to get a good education.

just as we had got a little below Gravesend. only I made an offer to go for my books and chest of clothes. nor to any one else. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. but I replied--it was very extraordinary that other people did not know the law as well as they. Some of them strove then to cheer me. the recollection of them Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and I still entertained hopes. and my master went on board and agreed with him for me. and by the laws of the land no man has a right to sell me:' And I added. which revived me a little. The tide. that for some time I did not make a reply. The ship was up about half an hour. When I came there Captain Doran asked me if I knew him. But. had just turned downward. love me. so that we quickly fell down the river along with it. besides this I have been baptized. but he would not let them. I was too well convinced of his power over me to doubt what he said. I told him I was free. The boat's crew. till we came among some outward-bound West Indiamen. But this only enraged him the more. and that they would stand by me. from all this tenderness. that I had heard a lawyer and others at different times tell my master so. I answered that I did not. and in a little time I was sent for into the cabin. I was so struck with the unexpectedness of this proceeding.' said he. and if I did he would cut my throat. and he continued to swear. he had a method on board to make me. 'But I have served him. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. that he would think of detaining me any longer than I wished. in all my dreams of freedom. I began. In pursuance of our orders we sailed from Portsmouth for the Thames. for as they pulled along he asked some vessels to receive me.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and be quiet. and told me he could not sell me. so that. and all in an instant. however. but they could not. I was going to leave him. without having before given me the least reason to suspect any thing of the matter. and would have gone ashore. They both then said that those people who told me so were not my friends.com . but he would take care I should not. plucking up courage. but he swore I should not move out of his sight. he forced me into the barge. became quite faint different times. for he was resolved to put me on board the first vessel he could get to receive me. 57 hh-bb. when my master ordered the barge to be manned.'did not your master buy you?' I confessed he did. to collect myself. where we cast anchor just as it was high water. and my former sufferings in the slave-ship presenting themselves to my mind.'many years. for I only got one sixpence during the war. Captain James Doran. and if I did not behave myself well. 'Then. and he has taken all my wages and prize-money. and arrived at Deptford the 10th of December. rather unluckily for me. we came alongside of a ship which was going away the next tide for the West Indies.' said he 'you are now my slave. and. and he could not by law serve me so. at the same time taking his hanger. who pulled against their will. and said he would soon let me know whether he would or not. Upon this Captain Doran said I talked too much English. 'Why.' said I. saying. I had never once supposed. to the astonishment and sorrow of all on board.' I told him my master could not sell me to him. Or GustavusVassa. All rights are reserved. her name was the Charming Sally. and at that instant sprung himself into the barge from the ship.

which. and they confessed they had made at one time a false bill of sale. I had scraped together from trifling perquisites and little ventures. 58 hh-bb. during my long sea-faring life. One day while we were at Bayonne Mr. and the hour of my deliverance was yet far off. However. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. some spirit exactly in their likeness. where this ship was going: but. as he thought. alas! all my hopes were baffled.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Or GustavusVassa. and said if my prize-money had been 10. and when they were out of sight I threw myself on the deck. made me shudder. FOOTNOTES: [Footnote L: He had drowned himself in endeavouring to desert. he had a right to it all. we found the man had been drowned at the very time Mr. and he and his people got into the boat and put off. that is. My master. he spoke of some circumstances of this man to some of the officers. having soon concluded his bargain with the captain. They told him that the man was then out of the ship. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. filled with resentment and sorrow. and that.000 L. for they would get me back again. where they sold slaves. coming on the quarter-deck. I followed them with aching eyes as long as I could. and I immediately left the cabin. The only coat I had with me my master took away with him. in the gun-room. and we searched the ship. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Mondle saw one of our men. lest my master should take that from me likewise. who had been in the West Indies. in one of the boats with the Lieutenant: but Mr. and would have taken it. two gentlemen. All rights are reserved.com . as soon as they could get their pay. Mondle thought he saw him. before I retired I told them that as I could not get any right among men here I hoped I should hereafter in Heaven. I had about nine guineas. that sometimes shortly before persons die their ward has been seen. while my heart was ready to burst with sorrow and anguish.] Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and a little after. they would immediately come to Portsmouth to me.] [Footnote N: Some people have it. came out of the cabin. when he found the man was actually out of her. though they are themselves at other places at the same time. Mondle would not believe it. still hoping that by some means or other I should make my escape to the shore. and sold two Portuguese white men among a lot of slaves.] [Footnote M: Among others whom we brought from Bayonne. and when the boat returned some time afterwards. and I hid it that instant. and indeed some of my old shipmates told me not to despair.

where she waited a Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. cruelty. This filled me with painful reflections on my past conduct. with contrition of heart. began to subside. and was well watched. and I thought God might perhaps have permitted this in order to teach me wisdom and resignation. and after the first confusion of my thoughts was over I reflected with more calmness on my present condition: I considered that trials and disappointments are sometimes for our good. for he had hitherto shadowed me with the wings of his mercy. and I said. which the author saw practised upon the slaves in the West Indies during his captivity from the year 1763 to 1766--Address on it to the planters. that he thus punished me so severely. King--Various interesting instances of oppression. and told me to behave myself well. In a little time my grief. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. 59 hh-bb. and that I should fare the better for it. he called me to him. acknowledged my transgression to God.’ Thus. CHAPTER. I was then asked if I could swim.' and whose horrors. and soon after arrived at the Mother Bank. No. where he is sold to Mr.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. yet mixed with some faint hope that the ‘Lord would appear’ for my deliverance. always present to my mind. Or GustavusVassa. and by his invisible but powerful hand brought me the way I knew not. However I was made to go under the deck. but I made him no answer. nor cast me from his mercy for ever. in comparison of which all my service hitherto had been 'perfect freedom. All rights are reserved. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Soon afterwards. and do the business of the ship the same as any of the rest of the boys. and with earnest supplications I besought him not to abandon me in my distress. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. at the moment I expected all my toils to end. in a new slavery. as I supposed. Portsmouth. ‘The author's reflections on his situation--Is deceived by a promise of being delivered--His despair at sailing for the West Indies--Arrives at Montserrat. and poured out my soul before him with unfeigned repentance.com . as my new master was going ashore. I wept very bitterly for some time: and began to think that I must have done something to displease the Lord. and I rose at last from the deck with dejection and sorrow in my countenance. was I plunged. My conscience smote me for this unguarded expression: I felt that the Lord was able to disappoint me in all things. and extortion. V. spent with its own violence. The next tide the ship got under way. and immediately considered my present situation as a judgment of Heaven on account of my presumption in swearing: I therefore. now rushed on it with tenfold aggravation. I recollected that on the morning of our arrival at Deptford I had rashly sworn that as soon as we reached London I would spend the day in rambling and sport. These reflections gave me a little comfort.

which was to escort the convoy. the 30th of December. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and I a prisoner on board. the next morning. few days for some of the West India convoy. and even the ship that conducted us. I was still in hopes that my old shipmates would not forget their promise to come for me to Portsmouth: and. now without hope! I kept my swimming eyes upon the land in a state of unutterable grief. and in return she always shewed great friendship for me. rogue like. in different ships. the wind being brisk and easterly. to my inexpressible anguish our ship had got under way. she had conceived a pique against me on some occasion when she was on board. This lady had been once very intimate with my former master: I used to sell and take care of a great deal of property for her. They also sent me word they would come off to me themselves the next day or the day after. and in one day's time I lost sight of the wished-for land. made a signal for sailing. the gale that wafted my prison. and mostly lodged on board. the fellow gave information. and she did not fail to instigate my master to treat me in the manner he did[O]. before any of my friends had an opportunity to come off to my relief. A sailor on board took a guinea from me on pretence of getting me a boat. and wished I had never been born. And what I thought was still the worst of all. time after time. All the ships then got up their anchors. In the first expressions of my grief I reproached my fate. When he had the watch upon deck I watched also. as there was none suffered to come alongside of the ship. and sent me off some oranges. all the while to the mates. and despairing how to help myself. and his trick was made known to the ship's crew. I was not so great a favourite with this lady as with the former. I could never see either the boat or my guinea again. and I called on death to relieve me from the horrors I felt and dreaded. was hoisted in again immediately. after we had sailed. but all in vain. but. some of them did come there. but not till the day before we sailed.com . and looked long enough. the Oeolus frigate. and men oppress no more. However. that it was hourly to come off. Fool that I was.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I had some satisfaction in seeing him detested and despised by them all for his behaviour to me. However. and she was succeeded in my master's good graces by another lady. he never told them he had got a guinea from me to procure my escape. of my intention to go off. if I could in any way do it. at last. that I might be in that place "Where slaves are free. and used to tell my master that she would take me away to live with her: but. a disagreement soon afterwards took place between them. and their own. indeed. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and other tokens of their regard. While I was here I tried every means I could devise amongst the people of the ship to get me a boat from the shore. I was ready to curse the tide that bore us. and a lady also. Or GustavusVassa. While my mind was in this situation the fleet sailed on. unfortunately for me. who lived in Gosport. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. not knowing what to do. and. whenever it was used. 60 hh-bb. inur'd so long to pain. and promised me. What tumultuous emotions agitated my soul when the convoy got under sail. wrote to me that she would come and take me out of the ship at the same time. as I afterwards found. All rights are reserved. who appeared sole mistress of the Aetna.

" At the sight of this land of bondage. when one morning the Oeolus ran down a brig. stripes. and as coarse a fare. and wish to wake no more[P]. like the dull unpity'd brutes. till February. In this state of my mind our ship came to an anchor. No eye to mark their suff'rings with a tear. and I soon perceived what fate had decreed no mortal on earth could prevent. and soon after discharged her cargo. doleful shades. Thank heaven one day of mis'ry was o'er. * * * * * Now dragg'd once more beyond the western main. and no hope to cheer: Then. and. The convoy was immediately thrown into great confusion till it was daylight. but torture without end Still urges. 61 hh-bb. and his avenging power." The turbulence of my emotions however naturally gave way to calmer thoughts. Pursue their toils till all his race is run. Salute with groans unwelcome morn's return. we descried our destined island Montserrat. where peace And rest can rarely dwell. All rights are reserved.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and chilled me to the heart. The convoy sailed on without any accident. No friend to comfort. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. rather than permit me to become a slave. Or GustavusVassa. ere the dawn of day. a fresh horror ran through all my frame. Then sink to sleep. repair To stalls as wretched. I called upon God's thunder. Rous'd by the lash they go their cheerless way. Where my poor countrymen in bondage wait The long enfranchisement of ling'ring fate: Hard ling'ring fate! while. and the Oeolus was illumined with lights to prevent any farther mischief. And. I now knew what it was to work hard. and soon after I beheld those: "Regions of sorrow. I was made to help to unload Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and be sold from lord to lord. and displayed nothing but misery. Hope never comes That comes to all. for six weeks. To groan beneath some dastard planter's chain. and she instantly went down and was ingulfed in the dark recesses of the ocean. And as their souls with shame and anguish burn. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.com . On the 13th of February 1763. or dream of joy again. one of the convoy. My former slavery now rose in dreadful review to my mind. in the first paroxysm of my grief. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. To trust to hope. from the mast-head. and chains. to direct the stroke of death to me. with a pleasant gale and smooth sea. chiding ev'ry hour the slow-pac'd sun.

If any of his slaves behaved amiss he did not beat or use them ill. and. This conversation relieved my mind a little. and I was day by day mangled and torn. I should be very well off with him. and I was told by the messenger that my fate was then determined. And indeed I soon found that he fully deserved the good character which Captain Doran had given me of him. but parted with them. for the character they had given me. The captain then told me my former master had sent me there to be sold. as he told him I was a very deserving boy. with whom I should be as happy as if I were in England. and I was very grateful to Captain Doran. my new master. and I left those gentlemen considerably more at ease in myself than when I came to them. and ran away from the ship. I had been so long used to an European climate that at first I felt the scorching West India sun very painful. or even attended with instant death. and load the ship. Mr. to comfort me in my distress in that time. This made them afraid of disobliging him. When she weighed anchor I went to the waterside and looked at her with a very wishful and aching heart. a character which I afterwards found of infinite service to me. and took leave of all my shipmates. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and as he treated his slaves better than any other man Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. when the ship was got ready to sail for England. I at that instant burst out a crying. and the first merchant in the place. and. but all to no purpose. King. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Captain Doran sent for me ashore one morning. then made a reply. two of the sailors robbed me of all my money. All rights are reserved. and the next day the ship sailed. but at Philadelphia. He told me he had got me the very best master in the whole island. 62 hh-bb. I all the time believing that Fate's blackest clouds were gathering over my head. and said the reason he had bought me was on account of my good character.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and even to my old master. though he could sell me to his own brother-in-law for a great deal more money than what he got from this gentleman. for he was very sure that when I came there I would leave him. I was so bowed down with grief that I could not hold up my head for many months. About the middle of May. but he could not venture to take me to London. and fit me for a clerk. where he was going soon. and if my new master had not been kind to me I believe I should have died under it at last. and followed her with my eyes and tears until she was totally out of sight. which Captain Doran said he found to be true. and begged much of him to take me to England with him. and was very charitable and humane. as he had not the least doubt of my good behaviour. as I understood something of the rules of arithmetic. Sometimes our limbs were broken with this. and found with him one Mr. Or GustavusVassa. He also told me he did not live in the West Indies. when we got there he would put me to school.com . but that he had desired him to get me the best master he could. and for that reason he chose to let him have me. a quaker. With fluttering steps and trembling heart I came to the captain. I went on board again. while the dashing surf would toss the boat and the people in it frequently above high water mark. and if he were to stay in the West Indies he would be glad to keep me himself. And. for he possessed a most amiable disposition and temper. and expecting their bursting would mix me with the dead. Robert King.

Mr. King soon asked me what I could do. He had besides many vessels and droggers. and with fortitude. and slaved at the oars. I knew a countryman of mine who once did not bring the weekly money directly that it was earned. on the island. I understood pulling and managing those boats very well. By his kind treatment I did at last endeavour to compose myself. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I have rowed the boat. Or GustavusVassa. He loaded many vessels in a year. would not give them their allowance out of it. and I could refine wines. though sometimes only ten pence. and. because he thought their owners did not feed them well enough according to the work they did. on my answering that I did not. I told him I knew something of seamanship. and often severely flogged by their owners if they did not bring them their daily or weekly money exactly to the time. as they knew my master to be a man of feeling. and could shave and dress hair pretty well. and kept from one to six clerks. determined to face whatever fate had decreed for me. so he was better and more faithfully served by them in return. In particular. yet he was staked to the ground for this pretended negligence. and belonged to other gentlemen on the island: those poor souls had never more than nine pence per day. though moneyless.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.com . However this was considerably more than was allowed to other slaves that used to work with me. where he was born. and though he brought it the same day to his master. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. after they had been paid for these poor people's labours. King dealt in all manner of merchandize. from one hour to sixteen in the twentyfour. and other goods. He then asked me if I knew any thing of gauging. particularly to Philadelphia. and found the poor fellows in victuals himself. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. from their masters or owners. where I had often done it. and that I could write. All rights are reserved. some of whom. in order to let them out to planters and merchants at so much a piece by the day. and this generally on Sundays. which used to go about the island. this allowance is often very scanty. Many times have I even seen these unfortunate wretches beaten for asking for their pay. My master often gave the owners of these slaves two and a half of these pieces per day. The slaves used to like this very well. when they wanted the time for themselves. and this hard work. though they earned them three or four pisterines[Q]: for it is a common practice in the West Indies for men to purchase slaves though they have not plantations themselves. they were always glad to work for him in preference to any other gentleman. he said one of his clerks should teach me to gauge. and understood arithmetic tolerably well as far as the Rule of Three. during which I had fifteen pence sterling per day to live on. Mr. of different sizes. though the poor creatures were obliged to wait on the gentlemen they had worked for sometimes for more than half the day before they could get their pay. 63 hh-bb. and at the same time said he did not mean to treat me as a common slave. and seldom more than six pence. which I had learned on shipboard. which was the first that he set me to. sugar. in the sugar seasons used to be my constant employment. and they give what allowance they chuse out of this produce of their daily work to their slaves for subsistence. and was connected with a great mercantile house in that city. and. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and others to collect rum.

I had all the opportunity I could wish for to see the dreadful usage of the poor men. or any other negro. I was let out to fit a vessel. and. which was very often. By these means I became very useful to my master. besides this. they would not deliver it to me.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. My master used sometimes. and fearing to be flogged. Once. to agree with their owners. in great poverty. in which I was not occasionally engaged. All rights are reserved. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and. Some time after he had this little estate the governor wanted a boat to bring his sugar from different parts of the island. and I had no victuals allowed me by either party. From being thus employed. I worked likewise on board of different vessels of his. Extortion and rapine are poor providers. and thereby he saved many of them a flogging. I had the good fortune to please my master in every department in which he employed me. during the time I served Mr. and he found some means to escape from his Christian master: he came to England. in these cases. King. and was just going to receive a hundred lashes.com . Such treatment as this often drives these miserable wretches to despair. but the only satisfaction he received was to be damned very heartily by his master. as he used to acknowledge. in this place. or household affairs. In many of the estates. Or GustavusVassa. and when it was necessary. but for a gentleman who begged him off fifty. Many of them. in tending stores. Nor did he scruple to say I was of more Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. on the different islands where I used to be sent for rum or sugar. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and some time after this the governor died in the King's Bench in England. who asked him how dared any of his negroes to have a boat. The last war favoured this poor negro-man. If the justly-merited ruin of the governor's fortune could be any gratification to the poor man he had thus robbed. as usual. in going about the different estates on the island. run away where they can for shelter. and he took me away from it. and take care of his horse. at last I told my master of this treatment. in receiving and delivering cargoes to the ships. and complained to him of this act of the governor. and to settle with them himself. I often supplied the place of a clerk. This poor man was very industrious. knowing this to be a negro-man's boat. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. he was not without consolation. and made me bless God for the hands into which I had fallen. usage that reconciled me to my situation. and then he used to pay him from six to ten pisterines a day. by his frugality. had saved so much money by working on shipboard. I used to shave and dress my master when convenient. he seized upon it for himself. as I was told. and they run away from their masters at the hazard of their lives. 64 hh-bb. he was therefore obliged to send a white man along with me to those places. unknown to his master. and a reward is often offered to bring them in dead or alive. for a few days. unable to get their pay when they have earned it. where I saw him afterwards several times. and would not pay the owner a farthing. and delivering goods: and. that he had got a white man to buy him a boat. and there was scarcely any part of his business. and saved him. above a hundred pounds a year. if they return home without it. The man on this went to his master.

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or GustavusVassa, The African by Himself
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advantage to him than any of his clerks; though their usual wages in the West Indies are from sixty to a hundred pounds current a year. I have sometimes heard it asserted that a negro cannot earn his master the first cost; but nothing can be further from the truth. I suppose nine tenths of the mechanics throughout the West Indies are Negro slaves; and I well know the coopers among them earn two dollars a day; the carpenters the same, and oftentimes more; as also the masons, smiths, and fishermen, &c. and I have known many slaves whose masters would not take a thousand pounds current for them. But surely this assertion refutes itself; for, if it be true, why do the planters and merchants pay such a price for slaves? And, above all, why do those who make this assertion exclaim the most loudly against the abolition of the slave trade? So much are men blinded, and to such inconsistent arguments are they driven by mistaken interest! I grant, indeed, that slaves are some times, by half-feeding, half-clothing, over-working and stripes, reduced so low, that they are turned out as unfit for service, and left to perish in the woods, or expire on a dunghill. My master was several times offered by different gentlemen one hundred guineas for me; but he always told them he would not sell me, to my great joy: and I used to double my diligence and care for fear of getting into the hands of those men who did not allow a valuable slave the common support of life. Many of them even used to find fault with my master for feeding his slaves so well as he did; although I often went hungry, and an Englishman might think my fare very indifferent; but he used to tell them he always would do it, because the slaves thereby looked better and did more work. While I was thus employed by my master I was often a witness to cruelties of every kind, which were exercised on my unhappy fellow slaves. I used frequently to have different cargoes of new negroes in my care for sale; and it was almost a constant practice with our clerks, and other whites, to commit violent depredations on the chastity of the female slaves; and these I was, though with reluctance, obliged to submit to at all times, being unable to help them. When we have had some of these slaves on board my master's vessels to carry them to other islands, or to America, I have known our mates to commit these acts most shamefully, to the disgrace, not of Christians only, but of men. I have even known them gratify their brutal passion with females not ten years old; and these abominations some of them practised to such scandalous excess, that one of our captains discharged the mate and others on that account. And yet in Montserrat I have seen a negro man staked to the ground, and cut most shockingly, and then his ears cut off bit by bit, because he had been connected with a white woman who was a common prostitute: as if it were no crime in the whites to rob an innocent African girl of her virtue; but most heinous in a black man only to gratify a passion of nature, where the temptation was offered by one of a different colour, though the most abandoned woman of her species.
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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or GustavusVassa, The African by Himself
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Another negro man was half hanged, and then burnt, for attempting to poison a cruel overseer. Thus by repeated cruelties are the wretched first urged to despair, and then murdered, because they still retain so much of human nature about them as to wish to put an end to their misery, and retaliate on their tyrants! These overseers are indeed for the most part persons of the worst character of any denomination of men in the West Indies. Unfortunately, many humane gentlemen, by not residing on their estates, are obliged to leave the management of them in the hands of these human butchers, who cut and mangle the slaves in a shocking manner on the most trifling occasions, and altogether treat them in every respect like brutes. They pay no regard to the situation of pregnant women, nor the least attention to the lodging of the field negroes. Their huts, which ought to be well covered, and the place dry where they take their little repose, are often open sheds, built in damp places; so that, when the poor creatures return tired from the toils of the field, they contract many disorders, from being exposed to the damp air in this uncomfortable state, while they are heated, and their pores are open. This neglect certainly conspires with many others to cause a decrease in the births as well as in the lives of the grown negroes. I can quote many instances of gentlemen who reside on their estates in the West Indies, and then the scene is quite changed; the negroes are treated with lenity and proper care, by which their lives are prolonged, and their masters are profited. To the honour of humanity, I knew several gentlemen who managed their estates in this manner; and they found that benevolence was their true interest. And, among many I could mention in several of the islands, I knew one in Montserrat[R] whose slaves looked remarkably well, and never needed any fresh supplies of negroes; and there are many other estates, especially in Barbadoes, which, from such judicious treatment, need no fresh stock of negroes at any time. I have the honour of knowing a most worthy and humane gentleman, who is a native of Barbadoes, and has estates there[S]. This gentleman has written a treatise on the usage of his own slaves. He allows them two hours for refreshment at mid-day; and many other indulgencies and comforts, particularly in their lying; and, besides this, he raises more provisions on his estate than they can destroy; so that by these attentions he saves the lives of his negroes, and keeps them healthy, and as happy as the condition of slavery can admit. I myself, as shall appear in the sequel, managed an estate, where, by those attentions, the negroes were uncommonly cheerful and healthy, and did more work by half than by the common mode of treatment they usually do. For want, therefore, of such care and attention to the poor negroes, and otherwise oppressed as they are, it is no wonder that the decrease should require 20,000 new negroes annually to fill up the vacant places of the dead. Even in Barbadoes, notwithstanding those humane exceptions which I have mentioned, and others I am acquainted with, which justly make it quoted as a place where slaves meet with the best treatment, and need fewest recruits of any
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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or GustavusVassa, The African by Himself
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in the West Indies, yet this island requires 1000 negroes annually to keep up the original stock, which is only 80,000. So that the whole term of a negro's life may be said to be there but sixteen years![T] And yet the climate here is in every respect the same as that from which they are taken, except in being more wholesome. Do the British colonies decrease in this manner? And yet what a prodigious difference is there between an English and West India climate? While I was in Montserrat I knew a negro man, named Emanuel Sankey, who endeavoured to escape from his miserable bondage, by concealing himself on board of a London ship: but fate did not favour the poor oppressed man; for, being discovered when the vessel was under sail, he was delivered up again to his master. This Christian master immediately pinned the wretch down to the ground at each wrist and ancle, and then took some sticks of sealing wax, and lighted them, and droped it all over his back. There was another master who was noted for cruelty; and I believe he had not a slave but what had been cut, and had pieces fairly taken out of the flesh: and, after they had been punished thus, he used to make them get into a long wooden box or case he had for that purpose, in which he shut them up during pleasure. It was just about the height and breadth of a man; and the poor wretches had no room, when in the case, to move. It was very common in several of the islands, particularly in St. Kitt's, for the slaves to be branded with the initial letters of their master's name; and a load of heavy iron hooks hung about their necks. Indeed on the most trifling occasions they were loaded with chains; and often instruments of torture were added. The iron muzzle, thumb-screws, &c. are so well known, as not to need a description, and were sometimes applied for the slightest faults. I have seen a Negro beaten till some of his bones were broken, for even letting a pot boil over. Is it surprising that usage like this should drive the poor creatures to despair, and make them seek a refuge in death from those evils which render their lives intolerable--while, "With shudd'ring horror pale, and eyes aghast, They view their lamentable lot, and find No rest!" This they frequently do. A negro-man on board a vessel of my master, while I belonged to her, having been put in irons for some trifling misdemeanor, and kept in that state for some days, being weary of life, took an opportunity of jumping overboard into the sea; however, he was picked up without being drowned. Another, whose life was also a burden to him, resolved to starve himself to death, and refused to eat any victuals; this procured him a severe flogging: and he also, on the first occasion which offered, jumped overboard at Charles Town, but was saved.

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' Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. page 125. worth six pence. and a whole day after his departure with the things he returned again and wanted his money back: I refused to give it. interposed and prevented him. for what is life to a man thus oppressed? He went away. of the Assembly of Barbadoes. or cruel intention. 68 hh-bb. or only of bloody-mindedness. But had the cruel man struck me I certainly should have defended myself at the hazard of my life. under punishment by his master. All rights are reserved. no person whatsoever shall be liable to a fine. for running away. according as their time will admit. who are they? One of these depredators once. he began the common pranks with me. wilfully kill a negro. or other slave. in St. or any other crime or misdemeanor towards his said master. the captive. and swore he would even break open my chest and take my money. to sell. to my knowledge. or to the market. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and not only so. that it might seem impertinent to quote the following extract. came on board of our vessel. By the 329th Act. and pay for me afterwards. wretched. whom I have seen for hours stand crying to no purpose. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and get no redress or pay of any kind. steal sometimes a few moments from rest or refreshment to gather some small portion of grass.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. but if any man shall out of wantonness. I have already related an instance or two of particular oppression out of many which I have witnessed. if some people had not been hardy enough of late to assert that negroes are on the same footing in that respect as Europeans. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. or his order. and helpless females. and if these are not the poor. at the same time have committed acts of violence on the poor. Eustatia. not seeing my captain on board. of his own. This they commonly tie up in a parcel. Nothing is more common than for the white people on this occasion to take the grass from them without paying for it. who gives them but little victuals. swearing. the broken-hearted. our clerks. Is not this one common and crying sin enough to bring down God's judgment on the islands? He tells us the oppressor and the oppressed are both in his hands. the bruised. after toiling all the day for an unfeeling owner. Nor is there any greater regard shewn to the little property than there is to the persons and lives of the negroes. which our Saviour speaks of. however. but the following is frequent in all the islands. he shall pay into the public treasury fifteen pounds sterling. whose heart had not been debauched by a West India climate. The small account in which the life of a negro is held in the West Indies is so universally known. it is enacted 'That if any negro. and bought some fowls and pigs of me. or other slave. and many others. and. I therefore expected. unfortunately shall suffer in life or member. Or GustavusVassa. or half a bit's-worth) and bring it to town. that he would be as good as his word: and he was just proceeding to strike me.com . (either a bit. but too often also. and threatened that whenever he caught me on shore he would shoot me. The wretched field-slaves. as my captain was absent. when fortunately a British seaman on board. the blind.

And at or after a sale it was not uncommon to see negroes taken from their wives. and then sold from three pence to six pence or nine pence a pound. wives taken from their husbands. then' said the poor man. All rights are reserved. One day he said to me. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. however begotten. gives an account of a French planter of his acquaintance. who. of the West India islands. and children from their parents. This man used to tell me many melancholy tales of himself. his master would frequently take them from him without paying him. Shocking as this and many more acts of the bloody West India code at first view appear. and at other times some other white people would serve him in the same manner. Or GustavusVassa. 'Sometimes when a white man take away my fish I go to my maser. a zealous labourer in the vineyard of slavery. who estimate the lives of their sons. and sent off to other islands. he used to employ his few leisure moments to go a fishing. what me must do? I can't go to any body to be righted. and he get me my right. Tobin these were all the produce of his own loins! And I myself have known similar instances. and the feelings of those fathers. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. My master. in different islands. and wherever else their merciless lords chose. and he told Mr. put into scales and weighed.com . which for cruelty would disgrace an assembly of those who are called barbarians. how is the iniquity of it heightened when we consider to whom it may be extended! Mr. Is not this one of the many acts of the islands which call loudly for redress? And do not the assembly which enacted it deserve the appellation of savages and brutes rather than of Christians and men? It is an act at once unmerciful. when the friends of the departed have been at the water side. ‘out of wantonness and bloody-mindedness’! But is not the slave trade entirely a war with the heart of man? And surely that which is begun by breaking down the barriers of virtue involves in its continuance destruction to every principle. reader. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. are these sons and daughters of the French planter less his children by being begotten on a black woman? And what must be the virtue of those legislators. as the act says. used to sell such by the lump. after having been often thus transported from island to island. and buries all sentiments in ruin! I have often seen slaves. in the island of Martinico.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. And it is the same in most. have kept their eyes fixed on the vessel till it went out of sight. and probably never more during life to see each other! Oftentimes my heart has bled at these partings. and. particularly those who were meagre. James Tobin. who shewed him many mulattoes working in the fields like beasts of burden. When he had caught any fish. at last resided in Montserrat. looking up above 'I must look up to God Mighty Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. A poor Creole negro I knew well. and when my maser by strength take away my fishes. with sighs and tears. at no more than fifteen pounds. though they should be murdered. 69 hh-bb. very movingly. after he had done working for his master. Pray. and for its injustice and ‘insanity’ would shock the morality and common sense of a Samaide or a Hottentot. and unwise. if not all. unjust. Generally. however. whose humanity was shocked at this mode.

so nearly indeed. immeasurable in extent. and yet you complain that they are not honest or faithful! You stupify them with stripes. Why do you use those instruments of torture? Are they fit to be applied by one rational being to another? And are ye not struck with shame and mortification. and read the same exhortation hereafter. as tender-hearted and just. since there was no redress below. with a few such exceptions as I have mentioned. that the history of an island. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. All rights are reserved. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. in my own transactions in the islands. and I could not help feeling the just cause Moses had in redressing his brother against the Egyptian. and gives one man a dominion over his fellows which God could never intend! For it raises the owner to a state as far above man as it depresses the slave below it. in all the different islands in which I have been (and I have visited no less than fifteen) the treatment of the slaves was nearly the same.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I exhorted the man to look up still to the God on the top. in the top for right. and incapable of enjoying the treasures she has poured out for him!—An assertion at once impious and absurd. above all. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and taints what it touches! Which violates that first natural right of mankind. Nor was such usage as this confined to particular places or individuals. When you make men slaves you deprive them of half their virtue. has left man alone scant and unfinished. rapine. are there no dangers attending this mode of treatment? Are you not hourly in dread of an insurrection? Nor would it be surprising: for when Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. that culture would be lost on them. for. than they would be if suffered to enjoy the privileges of men? The freedom which diffuses health and prosperity throughout Britain answers you--No. And. and harden them to every feeling of humanity! For I will not suppose that the dealers in slaves are born worse than other men--No. and endless in duration! Yet how mistaken is the avarice even of the planters? Are slaves more useful by being thus humbled to the condition of brutes. though prodigal of her bounties in a degree unknown to yourselves. sets a distinction between them. as shall be related hereafter. that their minds are such a barren soil or moor. Though I little thought then that I myself should more than once experience such imposition. which spreads like a pestilence. Or GustavusVassa. 70 hh-bb. and that they come from a climate. where nature. Surely this traffic cannot be good. with all the presumption of human pride.' This artless tale moved me much. equality and independency. as they are unfeeling. and. to see the partakers of your nature reduced so low? But. it is the fatality of this mistaken avarice. had the pursuits of those men been different.com . they might have been as generous. and that even this poor man and I should some time after suffer together in the same manner. rapacious and cruel. you set them in your own conduct an example of fraud. that it corrupts the milk of human kindness and turns it into gall. and cruelty. might serve for a history of the whole. or even a plantation. Such a tendency has the slave-trade to debauch men's minds. and think it necessary to keep them in a state of ignorance. and compel them to live with you in a state of war. and yet you assert that they are incapable of learning.

The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. that she caused the captain to treat me thus cruelly. p. she would not have been able to prevent.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.] [Footnote P: "The Dying Negro. She felt her pride alarmed at the superiority of her rival in being attended by a black servant: it was not less to prevent this than to be revenged on me. took an opportunity of shooting himself through the head. and revenge. being taken and sent on board a ship in the Thames. 16.] Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. prosperity. but custody severe.com ." But by changing your conduct. though slow. "No peace is given To us enslav'd. and got himself christened. who. They would be faithful. "A black. as appears by the advertisement prefixed to it. 71 hh-bb. a few days before had ran away from his master. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and treating your slaves as men. Baronet. hostility and hate. Perhaps it may not be deemed impertinent here to add. intelligent and vigorous. And stripes and arbitrary punishment Inflicted--What peace can we return? But to our power. that this elegant and pathetic little poem was occasioned. Or GustavusVassa. Montserrat.] [Footnote T: Benezet's Account of Guinea. by the following incident. Barbadoes. every cause of fear would be banished. with intent to marry a white woman his fellow-servant. Untam'd reluctance. would attend you.] [Footnote R: Mr. and may least rejoice In doing what we most in suffering feel. and happiness." a poem originally published in 1773."] [Footnote Q: These pisterines are of the value of a shilling. Dubury. and peace. FOOTNOTES: [Footnote O: Thus was I sacrificed to the envy and resentment of this woman for knowing that the lady whom she had succeeded in my master's good graces designed to take me into her service. had I once got on shore.] [Footnote S: Sir Philip Gibbes. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Yet ever plotting how the conqueror least May reap his conquest. and many others. All rights are reserved. which. honest.

occasioned by the steams of various little ponds. VI. turned as black as lead. When we arrived at the top. and they are too shocking to yield delight either to the writer or the reader. but very often his sailors used to get drunk and run away from the vessel. which I have been a witness to in the West Indies: but. above all. In the preceding chapter I have set before the reader a few of those many instances of oppression. I shall therefore hereafter only mention such as incidentally befel myself in the course of my adventures. was commanded by one Captain Thomas Farmer. and I put them into different ponds. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Some account of Brimstone-Hill in Montserrat--Favourable change in the author's situation--He commences merchant with three pence--His various success in dealing in the different islands. Some time in the year 1763 kind Providence seemed to appear rather more favourable to me. which is a high and steep mountain. which hindered him Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. who gained my master a great deal of money by his good management in carrying passengers from one island to another. about sixty tons. and so well known. and many others of different colours. were. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and I went once with some white and black people to visit it. I was struck with a celebrated curiosity called Brimstone-Hill.com . I had taken some potatoes with me. an Englishman. extortion. I tasted some of them. together with the different instruments with which they are tortured. that it cannot any longer afford novelty to recite them. and all the other things of that metal we had among us. and the impositions he meets with in his transactions with Europeans--A curious imposition on human nature--Danger of the surfs in the West Indies--Remarkable instance of kidnapping a free mulatto--The author is nearly murdered by Doctor Perkins in Savannah. a Bermudas sloop. a very alert and active man. but. the catalogue would be tedious and disgusting. I saw under different cliffs great flakes of brimstone. some few miles from the town of Plymouth in Montserrat. 72 hh-bb. and cruelty. The punishments of the slaves on every trifling occasion are so frequent. In the variety of departments in which I was employed by my master.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Or GustavusVassa. and in a few minutes they were well boiled. Some of these ponds were as white as milk. and the silver shoe buckles. some quite blue. I had an opportunity of seeing many curious scenes in different islands. CHAPTER. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and America. were I to enumerate them all. I had often heard of some wonders that were to be seen on this hill. but they were very sulphurous. All rights are reserved. which were then boiling naturally in the earth. One of my master's vessels. in a little time.

and in return I received better treatment from him than any other I believe ever met with in the West Indies in my situation. that I would go and be a sailor if he pleased. But the captain liked me also very much. This being the case. I also became so useful to the captain on shipboard. and sometimes at another. Indeed he was a very pleasant gentleman. for one single half bit. one day. 73 hh-bb. when she was in port. and tell my master I was better to him on board than any three white men he had. in his business very much. I bought a glass tumbler with my half bit. at which the captain would swear. sometimes at one thing. and when I came to Montserrat I sold it for a bit. Accordingly I was ordered on board directly. I was very happy at this proposal. This man had taken a liking to me. to let me go with this captain. a Dutch island. for I had felt much hunger oftentimes. my master would answer he could not spare me. All rights are reserved. After I had been sailing for some time with this captain. and asked me whether I would go aboard as a sailor. and at last. to my great joy. by the captain's constant entreaties. that many times. However I trusted to the Lord to be with me. which is equal to three pence in England. when he used to ask for me to go with him. and many different times begged of my master to let me go a trip with him as a sailor. I did all I could to deserve his favour. for sailors were generally very scarce in the island. and in greater abundance. and would not go the trip. or sixpence. though the vessel sometimes could not go for want of hands. as I have observed. or possibly make my escape if I should be used ill: I also expected to get better food. though very reluctantly. after I had been several times with him. for he could not bear any longer to be plagued in this manner.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I therefore. uncommonly well. for they used to behave ill in many respects. from necessity or force. This my master knew very well. Nevertheless. Thus was I slaving as it were for life. and at one of our trips to St. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. my master told me the captain would not let him rest. though it should be but for twenty-four hours. and I was entirely his right-hand man. at last. though my master treated his slaves. or stay on shore and mind the stores. Luckily we made Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and then they frequently got the boat stove. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. for if I did he would make him pay for me. to some of the islands near us. made up my whole stock. answered him. my master was prevailed on. between the vessel and the shore. Eustatia. However. for I immediately thought I might in time stand some chance by being on board to get a little money. particularly in getting drunk. and as soon as she returned I was sent for on shore again. but he would tell him he could not spare me. as my master always wished to have me along with him. so that the captain and I were nearly the most useful men in my master's employment. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. so as to hinder the vessel from coming back as soon as she might have done.com . I had but a very small capital to begin with. I had little or no rest. without hesitation. and but for my expectations on shipboard I should not have thought of leaving him. but he gave great charge to him to take care that I did not run away. Or GustavusVassa. the captain had for some time a sharp eye upon me whenever the vessel anchored. at length I endeavoured to try my luck and commence merchant.

nearly about three pints in measure. and threatened if we did not immediately depart they would flog us well. Indeed I was more than once obliged to look up to God on high. All rights are reserved. was I deprived of every Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and with the other three I bought a jug of Geneva. and it used to turn out to very good account. for we had heard these fruits sold well in that island. And I had not been long trading for myself in the manner I have related above.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. while we. and desired us to be gone. so that my capital now amounted in all to a dollar. as I had advised the poor fisherman some time before. when we have been dancing and merry-making. They still therefore swore. When we went again I bought with these two bits four more of these glasses. which I sold for four bits on our return to Montserrat. but we had scarcely landed when we were met by two white men. and even took sticks to beat us. and in our next voyage to St. while we followed all the way begging of them to give us our fruits. but in vain. Or GustavusVassa. they. for they took our ventures immediately to a house hard by. was upon an emergency put on board of us by his master to work as another hand. without cause. amidst our recreations. and ever trading as I went. and in our next. When we came to Montserrat I sold the gin for eight bits. which consisted of six bits' worth of limes and oranges in a bag. When we came there. when I blessed the Lord that I was so rich. in some little convenient time he and I went ashore with our fruits to sell them. several successive trips to St. seeing they meant what they said. and that we brought them with us to sell when we came from Montserrat. especially when we went to Guadaloupe. as they now saw we were strangers as well as slaves. We told them these three bags were all we were worth in the world. Thus. finding my tumbler so profitable. They not only refused to return them. I had also my whole stock. We could not at first guess what they meant to do. but they too soon let us know otherwise. about twenty leagues from Montserrat). But this was rather against us. and when I came back I sold them for two bits. separate in two bags. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I laid this money out in various things occasionally. on a voyage to Santa Cruz. well husbanded and acquired in the space of a month or six weeks. and adjoining the fort. in the very minute of gaining more by three times than I ever did by any venture in my life before. which was about twelve bits' worth of the same kind of goods. 74 hh-bb. and at our sailing he had brought his little all for a venture. during which I experienced many instances of ill usage. equal to a shilling sterling. and the rest of the French islands. when I experienced the like trial in company with him as follows: This man being used to the water. Eustatia (which was a general mart for the West Indies. Grenada. but swore at us. Thus was I going all about the islands upwards of four years. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Eustatia I bought two glasses with one bit. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and for some time we thought they were jesting with us. and the tumblers for two. with this one bit I bought two tumblers more.com . and shewed them the vessel. who presently took our three bags from us. As we sailed to different islands. went off in the greatest confusion and despair. have molested and insulted us. and have seen many injuries done to other negroes in our dealings with Europeans: and.

my Bible. stayed a little longer to plead. however. and. I ran as fast as I could. which so moved me with pity for him. which belonged to my companion. The poor old man. and the Guide to the Indians. when I have been plundered or used ill by these tender Christian depredators. As soon as I got them. and the parson and clerk in another. 75 hh-bb. but even as if they were indulgences and pleasure. for we sold our fruits uncommonly well. and the other two. to which the parson consented. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. My captain afterwards frequently used to take my part. till at last some other people that were in the house asked if we would be contented if they kept one bag and gave us the other two. consented to this. went back again to the house. cried bitterly for his loss. kept that. he then did look up to God on high. and. which I scarcely could meet with any where. Kitt's. my companion. We then proceeded to the markets to sell them. but we obtained not the least redress: he answered our complaints only by a volley of imprecations against us. they gave us back. observing one bag to have both kinds of fruit in it. a very curious imposition on human nature took place:--A white man wanted to marry in the church a free black woman that had land and slaves in Montserrat: but the clergyman told him it was against the law of the place to marry a white and a black in the church. Kitt's I had eleven bits of my own. St. in order to chastise us. Or GustavusVassa. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and my friendly captain lent me five bits more. with which I bought a Bible. were left behind. Such a surprising reverse of fortune in so short a space of time seemed like a dream to me. At one of our trips to St. and immediately took a horse-whip. seeing no remedy whatever. farthing I was worth. which were mine. An insupportable misfortune! but how to help ourselves we knew not. but this was of no avail. and proved no small encouragement for me to trust the Lord in any situation. In our consternation we went to the commanding officer of the fort and told him how we had been served by some of his people. and got the first negro man I could to help me off. We.com . Still however we persevered. and Providence was more favourable to us than we could have expected. and they. much to my grief. I think there was none sold in Montserrat. The man then asked to be married on the water. the two books I loved above all others. I got for mine about thirty-seven bits. and likewise all that he was worth in the world.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. in the agony of distress and indignation. wished that the ire of God in his forked lightning might transfix these cruel oppressors among the dead. wringing his hands. and begged and besought them again and again for our fruits. so that we were obliged to turn out much faster than we came in. and he was obliged to return without it. I was very glad to get this book. and get me my right. among whom I have shuddered to observe the unceasing blasphemous execrations which are wantonly thrown out by persons of all ages and conditions. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. indeed. and the two lovers went in one boat. not only without occasion. and thus the ceremony Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. While I was in this place. I now. that I gave him nearly one third of my fruits. he told them the bag they had was his. from being forced out of the Aetna in the manner I have related. All rights are reserved.

However. and in a fair way of making more. however the jacket I had Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Once in the Grenada islands. At Montserrat one night.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. We were obliged to get all the assistance we could from the nearest estate to mend the boat. and all my endeavours for that purpose would be fruitless. and. and I was ever exposed to their howling rage and devouring fury in all the islands. for I always remembered the old adage. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and at the same time I used every honest means. I have seen them strike and toss a boat right up an end. although I should at present see no means or hope to obtain my freedom. and therefore. added to which. if it were my fate not to be freed I never should be so. the punt was overset with us four times. on the other hand. and having been as it were in a state of freedom and plenty. particularly in the surfs I have formerly mentioned. and above the high water mark. and I trust it has ever been my ruling principle. was performed. and maim several on board. from my great attention to his orders and his business. In process of time I became master of a few pounds. by honest and honourable means. However. While I thus went on. filled with the thoughts of freedom. 76 hh-bb. if ever it were my lot to be freed nothing could prevent me. that honesty is the best policy. I gained him credit. and through his kindness to me I at last procured my liberty.com . After this the loving pair came on board our vessel. In the midst of these thoughts I therefore looked up with prayers anxiously to God for my liberty. and drove the boat and all in it about half a stone's throw. This I said although I foresaw my then well-being or future hopes of freedom (humanly speaking) depended on this man. my life hung daily in suspense. The reader cannot but judge of the irksomeness of this situation to a mind like mine. I therefore continued with him. These are extremely violent throughout the West Indies. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. All rights are reserved. among some trees. if possible. every part of the world I had hitherto been in seemed to me a paradise in comparison of the West Indies. I thought whatever fate had determined must ever come to pass. when I and about eight others were pulling a large boat with two puncheons of water in it. Or GustavusVassa. and. this occasioned him sometimes to take liberties with me: but whenever he treated me waspishly I used plainly to tell him my mind. and resisting oppression as well as I was able. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. as I could not swim. in being daily exposed to new hardships and impositions. in pressing hard to get off the shore on board. and that I would die before I would be imposed on as other negroes were. and endeavoured all that was possible on my part to obtain it. as he could not bear the thoughts of my not sailing with him. as I was from early years a predestinarian. and brought them safe to Montserrat. which my friendly captain knew very well. he always became mild on my threats. and that to me life had lost its relish when liberty was gone. My mind was therefore hourly replete with inventions and thoughts of being freed. after having seen many better days. a surf struck us. and launch it into the water again. the first time I was very near being drowned. and likewise that other golden precept--to do unto all men as I would they should do unto me. and my captain treated them extremely well.

by whom he had a child. he then made haste to me. but. we attempted again three times more. that there was not such another place under the heavens as this. Our captain and mate. lest we should be used ill for being absent. would. Nor was this the only instance of this kind of barbarity I was a witness to. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I longed therefore much to leave it. instead of that. or suffering him even to see his wife or child. The poor man could not believe the captain to be in earnest. As soon as we had turned the water out of her. and some of us even a stone's throw from each other: most of us were very much bruised. and most people on board knew that he served his time to boat building. he was carried away. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and seeing the mulatto-man. but at last. I have heard of two similar practices even in Philadelphia: and were it not for the benevolence of the Quakers in that city many of the sable race. and no one had ever claimed him as their property: however. thus villainously trepanned and held in bondage. I have since often seen in Jamaica and other islands free men. and. at the imminent hazard of our lives. I believe. on kept me up above water a little space of time. 77 hh-bb. came on board of us. he caught hold of me. and then he went and brought the punt also. who now breathe the air of liberty. be groaning indeed under some planter's chains. whose name was Joseph Clipson. and really thought. our captain. There was a very clever and decent free young mulatto-man who sailed a long time with us: he had a free woman for his wife. all knew this young man from a child that he was always free. whose vessel lay there for a few days in the road. One day also. and told him I could not swim. Or GustavusVassa. as might too often overcomes right in these parts. yet he was taken forcibly out of our vessel. so that I and many more often said.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. He then asked to be carried ashore before the secretary or magistrates. when a single surf tossed the canoe an amazing distance from the water. without giving the poor man any hearing on shore. while I called on a man near me who was a good swimmer.com . even the natives of Bermudas. and daily wished to see my master's promise performed of going to Philadelphia. and always passed for a free man. whom I have known in America. but he was very soon undeceived. we gained our point. the fifth time we attempted. While we lay in this place a very cruel thing happened on board of our sloop which filled me with horror. just as I was sinking. and three men besides myself. they carried him on board of the other vessel: and the next day. it happened that a Bermudas captain. and as often the horrid surfs served us as at first. he told him he was not free. Kitt's. and that he had orders from his master to bring him to Bermudas. and probably doomed never more in this world to see them again. All rights are reserved. and these infernal invaders of human rights promised him he should. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and other people on board. and she was then living on shore. though I found afterwards such practices were frequent. and all very happy. his men laying violent hands on him: and although he shewed a certificate of his being born free in St. and brought me to sounding. were going in a large canoe in quest of rum and sugar. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. at Old Road in Montserrat. and several elsewhere.

as I said. and particularly at one time. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Had I wished to run away I did not want opportunities. Where nor complexion. I therefore employed the mate of our vessel to teach me navigation. for they regarded me. remembering the old maxim. In this situation is it surprising that slaves.' I suffered them to Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. for. and went on board of the French ships. as my master was kind. and e'en illumines day. and said it was a shame for him to take any money from me. can Protect the wretch who makes a slave of man. my progress in this useful art was much retarded by the constancy of our work. in such a case. should prefer even the misery of slavery to such a mockery of freedom? I was now completely disgusted with the West Indies. he rebuked him.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. for they live in constant alarm for their liberty. though when the captain. yet. wealth. Our mate. Or GustavusVassa." I determined to make every exertion to obtain my freedom. When we were at the island of Gaurdeloupe there was a large fleet of merchantmen bound for Old France. came to know that the mate was to have such a sum for teaching me. though I did not intend to run away unless I should be ill used. However. For this purpose I thought a knowledge of navigation might be of use to me. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Scenes where fair Liberty in bright array Makes darkness bright. and. Hitherto I had thought only slavery dreadful. some time after. and even this is but nominal.com . and they swore to protect me. they gave from fifteen to twenty pounds a man for the run. They would have had me also to go with them. I might attempt my escape in our sloop. and actually paid him part of the money down. when mildly treated. These things opened my mind to a new scene of horror to which I had been before a stranger. for which I agreed to give him twenty-four dollars. but the state of a free negro appeared to me now equally so at least. was only to be in the event of my meeting with any ill usage. that no free negro's evidence will be admitted in their courts of justice. I really believe I could have got safe to Europe at that time. which frequently presented themselves. and I could be at no loss for hands to join me: and if I should make this attempt. I had intended to have gone for England. and in some respects even worse. as the fleet was to sail the next day. if I understood navigation. However. and to return to Old England. left our vessel on this account. soon after this. All rights are reserved. if I would go: and. for they are universally insulted and plundered without the possibility of redress. but this. that 'honesty is the best policy. "With thoughts like these my anxious boding mind Recall'd those pleasing scenes I left behind. 78 hh-bb. for such is the equity of the West Indian laws. and thought I never should be entirely free until I had left them. and. and all the white sailors. seamen then being very scarce. which was one of the swiftest sailing vessels in the West Indies. I would not attempt to leave him. or station.

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or GustavusVassa, The African by Himself
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go without me. Indeed my captain was much afraid of my leaving him and the vessel at that time, as I had so fair an opportunity: but, I thank God, this fidelity of mine turned out much to my advantage hereafter, when I did not in the least think of it; and made me so much in favour with the captain, that he used now and then to teach me some parts of navigation himself: but some of our passengers, and others, seeing this, found much fault with him for it, saying it was a very dangerous thing to let a negro know navigation; thus I was hindered again in my pursuits. About the latter end of the year 1764 my master bought a larger sloop, called the Providence, about seventy or eighty tons, of which my captain had the command. I went with him into this vessel, and we took a load of new slaves for Georgia and Charles Town. My master now left me entirely to the captain, though he still wished for me to be with him; but I, who always much wished to lose sight of the West Indies, was not a little rejoiced at the thoughts of seeing any other country. Therefore, relying on the goodness of my captain, I got ready all the little venture I could; and, when the vessel was ready, we sailed, to my great joy. When we got to our destined places, Georgia and Charles Town, I expected I should have an opportunity of selling my little property to advantage: but here, particularly in Charles Town, I met with buyers, white men, who imposed on me as in other places. Notwithstanding, I was resolved to have fortitude; thinking no lot or trial is too hard when kind Heaven is the rewarder. We soon got loaded again, and returned to Montserrat; and there, amongst the rest of the islands, I sold my goods well; and in this manner I continued trading during the year 1764; meeting with various scenes of imposition, as usual. After this, my master fitted out his vessel for Philadelphia, in the year 1765; and during the time we were loading her, and getting ready for the voyage, I worked with redoubled alacrity, from the hope of getting money enough by these voyages to buy my freedom in time, if it should please God; and also to see the town of Philadelphia, which I had heard a great deal about for some years past; besides which, I had always longed to prove my master's promise the first day I came to him. In the midst of these elevated ideas, and while I was about getting my little merchandize in readiness, one Sunday my master sent for me to his house. When I came there I found him and the captain together; and, on my going in, I was struck with astonishment at his telling me he heard that I meant to run away from him when I got to Philadelphia: 'And therefore,' said he, 'I must sell you again: you cost me a great deal of money, no less than forty pounds sterling; and it will not do to lose so much. You are a valuable fellow,' continued he; 'and I can get any day for you one hundred guineas, from many gentlemen in this island.' And then he told me of Captain Doran's brother-in-law, a severe master, who ever wanted to buy me to make me his overseer. My captain also said he could get much more than a hundred guineas for me in Carolina.
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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or GustavusVassa, The African by Himself
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This I knew to be a fact; for the gentleman that wanted to buy me came off several times on board of us, and spoke to me to live with him, and said he would use me well. When I asked what work he would put me to he said, as I was a sailor, he would make me a captain of one of his rice vessels. But I refused: and fearing, at the same time, by a sudden turn I saw in the captain's temper, he might mean to sell me, I told the gentleman I would not live with him on any condition, and that I certainly would run away with his vessel: but he said he did not fear that, as he would catch me again; and then he told me how cruelly he would serve me if I should do so. My captain, however, gave him to understand that I knew something of navigation: so he thought better of it; and, to my great joy, he went away. I now told my master I did not say I would run away in Philadelphia; neither did I mean it, as he did not use me ill, nor yet the captain: for if they did I certainly would have made some attempts before now; but as I thought that if it were God's will I ever should be freed it would be so, and, on the contrary, if it was not his will it would not happen; so I hoped, if ever I were freed, whilst I was used well, it should be by honest means; but, as I could not help myself, he must do as he pleased; I could only hope and trust to the God of Heaven; and at that instant my mind was big with inventions and full of schemes to escape. I then appealed to the captain whether he ever saw any sign of my making the least attempt to run away; and asked him if I did not always come on board according to the time for which he gave me liberty; and, more particularly, when all our men left us at Gaurdeloupe and went on board of the French fleet, and advised me to go with them, whether I might not, and that he could not have got me again. To my no small surprise, and very great joy, the captain confirmed every syllable that I had said: and even more; for he said he had tried different times to see if I would make any attempt of this kind, both at St. Eustatia and in America, and he never found that I made the smallest; but, on the contrary, I always came on board according to his orders; and he did really believe, if I ever meant to run away, that, as I could never have had a better opportunity, I would have done it the night the mate and all the people left our vessel at Gaurdeloupe. The captain then informed my master, who had been thus imposed on by our mate, though I did not know who was my enemy, the reason the mate had for imposing this lie upon him; which was, because I had acquainted the captain of the provisions the mate had given away or taken out of the vessel. This speech of the captain was like life to the dead to me, and instantly my soul glorified God; and still more so on hearing my master immediately say that I was a sensible fellow, and he never did intend to use me as a common slave; and that but for the entreaties of the captain, and his character of me, he would not have let me go from the stores about as I had done; that also, in so doing, he thought by carrying one little thing or other to different places to sell I might make money.
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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or GustavusVassa, The African by Himself
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That he also intended to encourage me in this by crediting me with half a puncheon of rum and half a hogshead of sugar at a time; so that, from being careful, I might have money enough, in some time, to purchase my freedom; and, when that was the case, I might depend upon it he would let me have it for forty pounds sterling money, which was only the same price he gave for me. This sound gladdened my poor heart beyond measure; though indeed it was no more than the very idea I had formed in my mind of my master long before, and I immediately made him this reply: 'Sir, I always had that very thought of you, indeed I had, and that made me so diligent in serving you.' He then gave me a large piece of silver coin, such as I never had seen or had before, and told me to get ready for the voyage, and he would credit me with a tierce of sugar, and another of rum; he also said that he had two amiable sisters in Philadelphia, from whom I might get some necessary things. Upon this my noble captain desired me to go aboard; and, knowing the African metal, he charged me not to say any thing of this matter to any body; and he promised that the lying mate should not go with him any more. This was a change indeed; in the same hour to feel the most exquisite pain, and in the turn of a moment the fullest joy. It caused in me such sensations as I was only able to express in my looks; my heart was so overpowered with gratitude that I could have kissed both of their feet. When I left the room I immediately went, or rather flew, to the vessel, which being loaded, my master, as good as his word, trusted me with a tierce of rum, and another of sugar, when we sailed, and arrived safe at the elegant town of Philadelphia. I soon sold my goods here pretty well; and in this charming place I found every thing plentiful and cheap. While I was in this place a very extraordinary occurrence befell me. I had been told one evening of a ‘wise’ woman, a Mrs. Davis, who revealed secrets, foretold events, &c. I put little faith in this story at first, as I could not conceive that any mortal could foresee the future disposals of Providence, nor did I believe in any other revelation than that of the Holy Scriptures; however, I was greatly astonished at seeing this woman in a dream that night, though a person I never before beheld in my life; this made such an impression on me, that I could not get the idea the next day out of my mind, and I then became as anxious to see her as I was before indifferent; accordingly in the evening, after we left off working, I inquired where she lived, and being directed to her, to my inexpressible surprise, beheld the very woman in the very same dress she appeared to me to wear in the vision. She immediately told me I had dreamed of her the preceding night; related to me many things that had happened with a correctness that astonished me; and finally told me I should not be long a slave: this was the more agreeable news, as I believed it the more readily from her having so faithfully related the past
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I could not obtain any thing for it. and I lost some time in seeking after this Christian. and had much business of the vessel to mind. giving me however but very indifferent payment. At length. some of the poor oppressed natives of Africa. in spite of all I could do. I was restored again to health. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I forgot my former resolutions. and I feared very much that awful event. 82 hh-bb. and from thence to Georgia. we parted. and. began to fail. on account of the repeal of the stamp act. and. While we were there I saw the town illuminated. so. the white men buying them with smooth promises and fair words. She said I should be twice in very great danger of my life within eighteen months. as usual. giving me her blessing. After staying here some time till our vessel was loaded. During the passage. if I escaped. when the Sabbath came (which the negroes usually make their holiday) I was much inclined to go to public worship. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and soon after we got the vessel loaded. I had always exerted myself and did double work. having landed part of our cargo. as if the very air of that country or climate seemed fatal to piety. as we drew nearer and nearer to the islands. Eustatia. as I was perfectly restored. not knowing how to act. for. and. and took in. the guns were fired. incidents of my life. in order to make our voyages as short as possible. I prayed the Lord therefore to spare me. and I had bought in my little traffic. we sailed from this agreeable spot for Montserrat. This vexed me much. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Or GustavusVassa. and I had got ashore. I should afterwards go on well. where we discharged our cargo. We arrived safe at Montserrat. my resolutions more and more declined. and bonfires and other demonstrations of joy shewn. we then set off again for Georgia and Charlestown. I was obliged to hire some black men to help to pull a boat across the water to God in quest of this gentleman. and from thus over-working myself while we were at Georgia I caught a fever and ague. being a negro man. although I used the interest of my friendly captain. we soon got her ready.--Alas! how prone is the heart to leave that God it wishes to love! and how strongly do the things of this world strike the senses and captivate the soul!—After our vessel was discharged. and set off for Montserrat.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. which gave me a great deal of trouble. once more to encounter the raging surfs. which. When we were safe arrived at Montserrat. and soon after that we took slaves on board for St. All rights are reserved. and perform my promise to God. and other negroes. eternity was now exceedingly impressed on my mind. I could not oblige him to pay me. all my endeavours to keep up my integrity. from having an eminent doctor to attend me. and I made a promise in my mind to God. I was very ill for eleven days and near dying. There was one gentleman particularly who bought a puncheon of rum of me. that I would be good if ever I should recover. proceeded to Charlestown with the remainder. We arrived at Georgia. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.com . and though. Here I disposed of some goods on my own account.

although I objected to them. However. We soon came to Georgia. and was so benumbed that I could not feel any thing for many hours. immediately came to me. and other parts of our cargo. it was to no purpose. he soon got me out of jail to his lodgings. as I was with some negroes in their master's yard in the town of Savannah. The worthy man nursed and watched me all the hours of the night. He then went to Doctor Perkins. he made inquiry after me. As I did not return to the ship all night. and. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. he and a ruffian of a white man he had in his service beset me in an instant. however. I was within one minute of being tied up and flogged without either judge or jury. I ran off. I began at last to amend. and I was. My captain on this went to all the lawyers in the town for their advice. but. and. although I was so sore and bad with the wounds I had all over me that I could not rest in any posture. Or GustavusVassa. where we were to complete our lading. and I have never been amongst them since. All this time I was very much wanted on board. both from myself and my worthy captain. however. and. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.--But cowardice is ever the companion of cruelty--and the Doctor refused. it happened that their master. As soon as the good man saw me so cut and mangled. but. but still continued in fear of them until we sailed. Immediately after. and of consequence of no value. were copper. I lost so much blood from the wounds I received. and immediately sent for the best doctors in the place. the hero who had vanquished me. that I lay quite motionless. he at last paid me in dollars. as I used frequently to go up and down the river for rafts. and menaced him. which I thanked God we did not long after. my captain. All rights are reserved. who lodged hard by him. and here worse fate than ever attended me: for one Sunday night. amongst other white men. and Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. able to get out of bed in about sixteen or eighteen days. and so escaped the bastinadoes I should have received.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. after much entreaty. but they told him they could do nothing for me as I was a negro.com . though I shewed them the man I got them from. by the help of a good pair of heels. I cried out as long as I could for help and mercy. yet I was in more pain on account of the captain's uneasiness about me than I otherwise should have been. Early in the morning they took me away to the jail. as I was trying to pass them in the market. but he took advantage of my being a negro man. not knowing where I was. and obliged me to put up with those or none. When I found him. I got on board as fast as I could. swearing he would be revenged of him. and challenged him to fight. not liking to see any strange negroes in his yard. one Doctor Perkins. who was a very severe and cruel man. and being uneasy that I did not then make my appearance. 83 hh-bb. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. came in drunk. having found where I was. leaving me near dead. and both of them struck me with the first weapons they could get hold of. by the skilfulness of one Doctor Brady of that place. through his attention and that of the doctor. though I gave a good account of myself. I was abused for offering to pass bad coin. and he knew my captain. some of them. who at first declared it as their opinion that I could not recover. he could not forbear weeping. They beat and mangled me in a shameful manner.

END OF THE FIRST VOLUME. and in less than three weeks we arrived there safe towards the end of the year. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. our vessel set sail for Montserrat. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. having got in all our lading. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. This ended my adventures in 1764. In about four weeks I was able to go on duty. stow them when the mate was sick or absent. Or GustavusVassa.com . Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. All rights are reserved. 84 hh-bb. and in a fortnight after.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. for I did not leave Montserrat again till the beginning of the following year.

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or GustavusVassa, The African by Himself
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They ran the ship aground: and the fore part stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. Acts xxvii. 41. Howbeit, we must be cast upon a certain island; Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Acts xxvii. 26, 25. Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men. Job iv. 12, 13. Lo, all these ‘things’ worketh God oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living. Job xxxiii. 29, 30.

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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or GustavusVassa, The African by Himself
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‘The author's disgust at the West Indies--Forms schemes to obtain his freedom--Ludicrous disappointment he and his Captain meet with in Georgia--At last, by several successful voyages, he acquires a sum of money sufficient to purchase it--Applies to his master, who accepts it, and grants his manumission, to his great joy--He afterwards enters as a freeman on board one of Mr. King's ships, and sails for Georgia--Impositions on free negroes as usual--His venture of turkies--Sails for Montserrat, and on his passage his friend, the Captain, falls ill and dies.’ Every day now brought me nearer my freedom, and I was impatient till we proceeded again to sea, that I might have an opportunity of getting a sum large enough to purchase it. I was not long ungratified; for, in the beginning of the year 1766, my master bought another sloop, named the Nancy, the largest I had ever seen. She was partly laden, and was to proceed to Philadelphia; our Captain had his choice of three, and I was well pleased he chose this, which was the largest; for, from his having a large vessel, I had more room, and could carry a larger quantity of goods with me. Accordingly, when we had delivered our old vessel, the Prudence, and completed the lading of the Nancy, having made near three hundred per cent, by four barrels of pork I brought from Charlestown, I laid in as large a cargo as I could, trusting to God's providence to prosper my undertaking. With these views I sailed for Philadelphia. On our passage, when we drew near the land, I was for the first time surprised at the sight of some whales, having never seen any such large sea monsters before; and as we sailed by the land one morning I saw a puppy whale close by the vessel; it was about the length of a wherry boat, and it followed us all the day till we got within the Capes. We arrived safe and in good time at Philadelphia, and I sold my goods there chiefly to the Quakers. They always appeared to be a very honest discreet sort of people, and never attempted to impose on me; I therefore liked them, and ever after chose to deal with them in preference to any others. One Sunday morning while I was here, as I was going to church, I chanced to pass a meeting-house. The doors being open, and the house full of people, it excited my curiosity to go in. When I entered the house, to my great surprise, I
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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or GustavusVassa, The African by Himself
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saw a very tall woman standing in the midst of them, speaking in an audible voice something which I could not understand. Having never seen anything of this kind before, I stood and stared about me for some time, wondering at this odd scene. As soon as it was over I took an opportunity to make inquiry about the place and people, when I was informed they were called Quakers. I particularly asked what that woman I saw in the midst of them had said, but none of them were pleased to satisfy me; so I quitted them, and soon after, as I was returning, I came to a church crowded with people; the church-yard was full likewise, and a number of people were even mounted on ladders, looking in at the windows. I thought this a strange sight, as I had never seen churches, either in England or the West Indies, crowded in this manner before. I therefore made bold to ask some people the meaning of all this, and they told me the Rev. Mr. George Whitfield was preaching. I had often heard of this gentleman, and had wished to see and hear him; but I had never before had an opportunity. I now therefore resolved to gratify myself with the sight, and I pressed in amidst the multitude. When I got into the church I saw this pious man exhorting the people with the greatest fervour and earnestness, and sweating as much as I ever did while in slavery on Montserrat beach. I was very much struck and impressed with this; I thought it strange I had never seen divines exert themselves in this manner before, and I was no longer at a loss to account for the thin congregations they preached to. When we had discharged our cargo here, and were loaded again, we left this fruitful land once more, and set sail for Montserrat. My traffic had hitherto succeeded so well with me, that I thought, by selling my goods when we arrived at Montserrat, I should have enough to purchase my freedom. But, as soon as our vessel arrived there, my master came on board, and gave orders for us to go to St. Eustatia, and discharge our cargo there, and from thence proceed for Georgia. I was much disappointed at this; but thinking, as usual, it was of no use to encounter with the decrees of fate, I submitted without repining, and we went to St. Eustatia. After we had discharged our cargo there we took in a live cargo, as we call a cargo of slaves. Here I sold my goods tolerably well; but, not being able to lay out all my money in this small island to as much advantage as in many other places, I laid out only part, and the remainder I brought away with me neat. We sailed from hence for Georgia, and I was glad when we got there, though I had not much reason to like the place from my last adventure in Savannah; but I longed to get back to Montserrat and procure my freedom, which I expected to be able to purchase when I returned. As soon as we arrived here I waited on my careful doctor, Mr. Brady, to whom I made the most grateful acknowledgments in my power for his former kindness and attention during my illness. While we were here an odd circumstance happened to the Captain and me, which disappointed us both a good deal. A silversmith, whom we had brought to this place some voyages before, agreed with the Captain to return with us to the West Indies, and
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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or GustavusVassa, The African by Himself
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promised at the same time to give the Captain a great deal of money, having pretended to take a liking to him, and being, as we thought, very rich. But while we stayed to load our vessel this man was taken ill in a house where he worked, and in a week's time became very bad. The worse he grew the more he used to speak of giving the Captain what he had promised him, so that he expected something considerable from the death of this man, who had no wife or child, and he attended him day and night. I used also to go with the Captain, at his own desire, to attend him; especially when we saw there was no appearance of his recovery: and, in order to recompense me for my trouble, the Captain promised me ten pounds, when he should get the man's property. I thought this would be of great service to me, although I had nearly money enough to purchase my freedom, if I should get safe this voyage to Montserrat. In this expectation I laid out above eight pounds of my money for a suit of superfine clothes to dance with at my freedom, which I hoped was then at hand. We still continued to attend this man, and were with him even on the last day he lived, till very late at night, when we went on board. After we were got to bed, about one or two o'clock in the morning, the Captain was sent for, and informed the man was dead. On this he came to my bed, and, waking me, informed me of it, and desired me to get up and procure a light, and immediately go to him. I told him I was very sleepy, and wished he would take somebody else with him; or else, as the man was dead, and could want no farther attendance, to let all things remain as they were till the next morning. 'No, no,' said he, 'we will have the money to-night, I cannot wait till to-morrow; so let us go.' Accordingly I got up and struck a light, and away we both went and saw the man as dead as we could wish. The Captain said he would give him a grand burial, in gratitude for the promised treasure; and desired that all the things belonging to the deceased might be brought forth. Among others, there was a nest of trunks of which he had kept the keys whilst the man was ill, and when they were produced we opened them with no small eagerness and expectation; and as there were a great number within one another, with much impatience we took them one out of the other. At last, when we came to the smallest, and had opened it, we saw it was full of papers, which we supposed to be notes; at the sight of which our hearts leapt for joy; and that instant the Captain, clapping his hands, cried out, 'Thank God, here it is.' But when we took up the trunk, and began to examine the supposed treasure and long-looked-for bounty, (alas! alas! how uncertain and deceitful are all human affairs!) what had we found! While we thought we were embracing a substance we grasped an emptynothing. The whole amount that was in the nest of trunks was only one dollar and a half; and all that the man possessed would not pay for his coffin. Our sudden and exquisite joy was now succeeded by a sudden and exquisite pain; and my Captain and I exhibited, for some time, most ridiculous figures--pictures of chagrin and disappointment! We went away greatly
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in the 126th Psalm. unable to express my feelings. how I should proceed in offering my master the money for my freedom. the Captain. where did you get the money? Have you got forty pounds sterling?' 'Yes. These words of my master were like a voice from heaven to me: in an instant all my trepidation was turned into unutterable bliss. When I went in I made my obeisance to my master. as I thought. and left the deceased to do as well as he could for himself. I prayed him to be as good as his offer to me. in order to obey my master's joyful mandate of going to the Register Office. on that morning I went. taking the money. Or GustavusVassa.' My master then said. the Captain. and that I was particularly careful. 'Come. The Captain then said he knew I got the money very honestly and with much industry. come. finding myself master of about forty-seven pounds. while my true and worthy friend. and left the room. but much out of humour with our friend the silversmith. and arrived there safe. and many fears in my heart. We set sail once more for Montserrat. I told him. and said he would not have made me the promise he did if he had thought I should have got money so soon. Robert. When we had unladen the vessel. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. This speech seemed to confound him. and with my money in my hand. when he was pleased to promise me my freedom as soon as I could purchase it. 'give you your freedom? Why. and met the Captain there. Accordingly.' said my worthy Captain.' said he. and. as we had taken so good care of him when alive for nothing. he began to recoil: and my heart that instant sunk within me. take the money. but by the overflowing of my eyes. sir. you have received good interest for it all this time. and I now saw them. fulfilled and verified.' These words had been impressed on my mind from the very day I was forced from Deptford to the present hour. and get my manumission drawn up. All rights are reserved.com . congratulated us both with a peculiar degree of heartfelt pleasure. and I most reverently bowed myself with gratitude. and here is now the principal at last. He told me to come on a certain morning. I got money much faster than he did. (which was his name) I think you must let him have his freedom. mortified. in whom I trusted. very honestly. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I know Gustavus has earned you more than an hundred a-year. and like him. as he will not leave you:-Come. 'How did you get it?' replied he.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. as he had appointed. On which my master replied. 'What. I rose with a heart full of affection and reverence. clapping my master on the back. 89 hh-bb. and that I had expressed my thanks to these my worthy friends in the best manner I was able. As soon as the first transports of my joy were over. told me to go to the Secretary at the Register Office. when he and my master would be at breakfast together. you have laid your money out very well. 'Come. he would not be worse than his promise. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted.' I answered. 'I glorified God in my heart. and I had sold my venture. As I was leaving the house I called to mind the words of the Psalmist. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and he will still save you money. Robert. I consulted my true friend.

I thought this was the happiest day I had ever experienced. which was a guinea. named Gustavus Vassa. or by Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and set free. and property. shall and may become free. named Gustavus Vassa. Or GustavusVassa. wildness. after she had been ravished from his arms!--All within my breast was tumult. Anthony in the said island. I had. so that. and delirium! My feet scarcely touched the ground. I who had been a slave in the morning. that I the aforesaid Robert King. and set free. before night.--To all men unto whom these presents shall come: I Robert King. for and in consideration of the sum of seventy pounds current money of the said island. when he once more embraces his beloved mistress. they 'were with lightning sped as I went on. and told me he would draw up my manumission for half price. merchant. * * * * * As the form of my manumission has something peculiar in it. and my joy was still heightened by the blessings and prayers of the sable race. and. hereby giving. to me in hand paid. to whom my heart had ever been attached with reverence. the aforesaid negro man-slave. as he rose to Heaven. enfranchise. and completely free. in this respect. My imagination was all rapture as I flew to the Register Office. like Elijah.[U] (whose deliverance from prison was so sudden and extraordinary. that he thought he was in a vision) I could scarcely believe I was awake. and by these presents do manumit.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Accordingly he signed the manumission that day. I thanked him for his kindness. for they were winged with joy. I hastened to my master to get him to sign it. title. or now I have. which. I shall beg leave to present it before my readers at full length: ‘Montserrat’. Heavens! who could do justice to my feelings at this moment! Not conquering heroes themselves. in the midst of a triumph--Not the tender mother who has just regained her long-lost infant. trembling at the will of another. have manumitted. emancipated.com .' Every one I met I told of my happiness. and presses it to her heart--Not the weary hungry mariner. and releasing unto him. dominion. as lord and master over the aforesaid Gustavus Vassa. for ever. and. that I might be fully released. and to the intent that a negro man-slave. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. all right. When I got to the office and acquainted the Register with my errand he congratulated me on the occasion. sovereignty. and blazed about the virtue of my amiable master and captain. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. All rights are reserved. particularly the aged. the said Gustavus Vassa. and. emancipate. and expresses the absolute power and dominion one man claims over his fellow. send greeting: Know ye. 90 hh-bb. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. having received it and paid him. enfranchised. was become my own master. at the sight of the desired friendly port--Not the lover. granting. like the apostle Peter. of the parish of St.

Signed. any means whatsoever I may or can hereafter possibly have over him the aforesaid negro. if it pleased God. I obediently answered my benefactors that I would go in the vessel. in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six. now began to relax and appear less coy. but I determined that the year following. Register. at thirty-six shillings per month. and delivered in the presence of Terrylegay. instead of being. being as in my original free African state. in liber D. who was hourly in my mind. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.' Here gratitude bowed me down. All rights are reserved. finding that the bent of my mind was towards London. In witness whereof I the abovesaid Robert King have unto these presents set my hand and seal. So that my worthy captain and his owner. and from that day I was entered on board as an able-bodied sailor. and I pleased myself with thinking of what he would say when he saw what the Lord had done for me in so short a time. and now.com . where I hoped to be ere long. this eleventh day of July. Pascal. In this state of serenity we sailed for St. to me the most desirable in the world. after having got all things ready for our voyage. Eustatia. besides what perquisites I could make. My intention was to make a voyage or two. for I still loved him. and at the dances I gave my Georgia superfine blue clothes made no indifferent appearance. Registered the within manumission at full length. 91 hh-bb. I would see Old England once more. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. entirely to please these my honoured patrons. and surprise my old master. but my heart was still fixed on London. under the cruel yoke of some planter. for ever. and. However. I embarked on board the Nancy. having smooth seas and calm Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. who formerly stood aloof. Terrylegay. notwithstanding my wish to be in London. Robert King. my late master.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. as I thought. Some of the sable females. as he might perhaps suppose. and none but the generous mind can judge of my feelings. but that you will still be with the vessels. With these kind of reveries I used often to entertain myself. Capt. 1766. sealed. this tenth day of July. Or GustavusVassa. and shorten the time till my return. Montserrat. said to me. which was Freeman. the fair as well as black people immediately styled me by a new appellation. notwithstanding his usage of me. and not leave them. 'We hope you won't leave us. * * * * * In short. struggling between inclination and duty.

as I knew there was little or no law for a free negro here. he told him I was a free man. At that instant a rage seized my soul. I thought his threat might prove too true to my sorrow. and if Mr. 1766. instead of taking my advice. While we were there. that I knew. for they said Mr. and even struck me. persevered in his insults. I had told my captain also the whole affair that morning. we proceeded to Savannah in Georgia.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. for I would sooner die like a free man. I told him he had insulted me. and my blood drawn like a slave. weather. Read was a very spiteful man. 92 hh-bb. to desist. I entreated him. one evening a slave belonging to Mr. I have seen a young one sold in Georgia alive for six pence. which were very numerous on that coast. Read came. advised me to make haste and conceal myself. and run away with his slaves. and I have shot many of them when they have been near getting into our boats. as well by the many instances I had seen of the treatment of free negroes. and when Mr. in August. and Mr. than suffer myself to be scourged by the hands of ruffians. Read applied to him to deliver me up. by first striking me. I used to go for the cargo up the rivers in boats. with false accusations. and on this business I have been frequently beset by alligators. he said he knew nothing of the matter. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The next morning his master came to our vessel as we lay alongside the wharf. and had given the provocation. without judge or jury. When he was gone. as I never in my life had the marks of any violence of that kind. which we have with great difficulty sometimes prevented. as usual. swearing he would bring all the constables in the town. Read. who. and afterwards this oppressed man was sent from Georgia. for he would have me out of the vessel. a carpenter. and have been very much frightened at them. of all things. or basely use me without a trial. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. There was a free black man. Read went away. and desired me to come ashore that he might have me flogged all round the town. and wished him to have gone along with me to Mr. a merchant of Savannah. I was therefore much embarrassed. The Captain being on board when Mr. with all the patience I was master of. I dreaded. and Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. but the fellow. came near our vessel. During our stay at this place. and for a little I determined to resist the first man that should offer to lay violent hands on me. as from a fact that had happened within my own knowledge here a short time before. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. for beating his negro slave. The captain and others. All rights are reserved. At this I lost all temper. and I fell on him and beat him soundly. and began to use me very ill. was put into gaol. Or GustavusVassa. I was astonished and frightened at this. for asking a gentleman that he worked for for the money he had earned. and had desired me to go to work. the thoughts of being striped. Read said any thing he would make matters up. and thought I had better keep where I was than go ashore and be flogged round the town.com . of an intention to set the gentleman's house on fire. but he said that it did not signify. I therefore refused to stir. and very apprehensive of a flogging at least. we soon arrived there: after taking our cargo on board. and I was confirmed in this belief. Read. more cautious. which I accordingly did. to prevent bad consequences.

he therefore begged of him to forgive me. in suffering me thus to be imposed upon. Mr. In order to encourage me in working. My captain.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. but I had all the expenses to pay. On this I was desired by them to stay in the house. in doing which I was obliged to perform the duty of the mate as well as my own work. and told him I had no notion that he intended thus to impose on me. No. but. he swore he would have me dead or alive. where they are a very profitable article. at a place called Yea-ma-chra. As soon as I had got the vessel loaded. on this. telling me how pleasantly matters had gone on. but he said he could not. he would soon come on board with constables and take me. as I had managed things on board for them. he desired me to go on board. and get me on board some other vessel. Or GustavusVassa. that ever since I eloped from the vessel his work had been neglected. and told him. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and this made me work with redoubled ardour. At this he appeared to be very much dejected. but at length. himself and mate not being well. At first I refused this counsel. and that the bullocks were near coming on board. of which I had always plenty. but. on which my captain came immediately to me at his lodging. and consequently hurt the owner. At last some of them told my captain that he did not use me well. Read said I might go to hell. with the constables. that I intended to leave the vessel. he told me there was no room for them. and. All rights are reserved. with whom he lodged. came for me. and to make up for the time I had lost. and Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. After repeated entreaties. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and said they would see me redressed. Dixon's house. I was but just gone when Mr. Read. We were in haste to complete our lading. and. according to his promise. I went on board again to my work. immediately went to Mr. my captain promised me the privilege of carrying two bullocks of my own with me. 93 hh-bb. being determined to stand my ground. and they said they would get me on board of some other vessel before the evening. I then asked him to permit me to take one. Some of my other friends then asked him if he had got the constable's warrant from them. He went immediately for the warrant. and that he would not meddle with me. he at last got it from my hunters. not finding me there. I asked the captain leave to bring my two. procured me some friends. Read. the good character which my captain always gave me as well as some other gentlemen who also knew me. and were to carry twenty head of cattle with us to the West Indies.com . as he said he never had any complaint of me before. and I gave him to understand. however. Dixon. after using every exertion in his power. On this we had some disagreement. by the prevailing entreaties of the captain and Mr. the captain said. nor could I think well of any man that was so much worse than his word. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. for the many years that I had been with him. I was secreted about five days. which was a little out of town. and he could not go on with her loading. When the captain heard this he became almost distracted. to my great surprise. and. and searched the vessel. After I had thanked all my friends for their attention. I went to Mr. my absence must retard his voyage. I was a good deal mortified at this usage.

I was so dissatisfied about that I determined to make no more voyages to this quarter. for they declined so fast. 94 hh-bb. yet we were obliged to attend to the pumps every half or three quarters of an hour. as the bullocks were coming on board. the more I was against it. the captain now pressed me very much to take some turkeys. and that. All rights are reserved. In order to make me some amends for his treatment about the bullocks. The turkeys. advised him to persuade me to stay: in consequence of which he spoke very kindly to me. and we had not been long at sea before we began to meet with strong northerly gales and rough seas. nor with this captain. till the last. however.com . constantly having the owner's interest at heart. The captain was now very sorry he had not taught me navigation. and. he could not do without me. which was now but seldom. which had not been tight at first. as the mate was so sickly. insomuch that he ensured me from all losses that might happen by them. However. that he was obliged to keep his bed. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and in about seven or eight days all the bullocks were near being drowned. our mate. and as we proceeded on our voyage they grew worse. and I was obliged to direct her by my former experience. and gave me liberty to take as many as I could find room for. This. he would not fail to do so. but I told him he knew very well I had never carried any turkeys before. and four or five of them died. induced me at length to take four dozen. though we were but nine in the whole. continuing sensible. therefore. The whole care of the vessel rested. including five sailors and myself. but I thought this very strange. as he had never acted so with me before. and I was prevailed on to take them. telling me that. The captain and mate had been both complaining of sickness when we sailed. and butted him so furiously in the breast. he therefore hoped that I would not be offended at what had passed between us. not being able to work a traverse. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. with me. as the safety of the vessel and cargo depended greatly upon me. the more he urged my taking them. for this just Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and swore he would make up all matters when we arrived in the West Indies. upon me. who had been very sickly. The captain and mate came on deck as often as they were able. he continued to press me to buy them for once. and other fowls. if ever he should get well again. but in about seventeen days his illness increased so much. and not being able to dispose of my paper-money in any other way. This was about November. and protested. that he never recovered of the blow. so I consented to slave on as before. Soon after this.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. one of them ran at the captain. making many fair promises. however. as I always thought they were such tender birds that they were not fit to cross the seas. that they were not well enough to make observations above four or five times the whole voyage. and. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and was very apprehensive that my free voyage would be the worst I had ever made. was much less so now. what was very surprising to me. Or GustavusVassa. We set sail for Montserrat. Our vessel. and whose duty had long devolved upon me.

as the nearest to us. xii.com . till he was gone. which I wished to reach. the mate came on the deck. he was much regretted by all who knew him. Many were surprised when they heard of my conducting the sloop into the port. and just. 9. and. faithful. and it was quite flattering to my vanity to be thus styled by as high a title as any free man in this place possessed. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. the few bullocks that remained were found dead. and I found that I did not know. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. benevolent. when I came to him. but to no purpose. and exposed to so much wet and bad weather.] Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and benevolent man ever appeared much concerned about the welfare of what he was intrusted with.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. on the sale of them. did well. for he was a man universally respected. The captain being dead. he expired without saying another word. and engaged my attention entirely. for they must have perished with the rest. chap. Indeed I had every reason in the world to be attached to him. and made such observations as he was able. he asked (with almost his last breath) if he had ever done me any harm? 'God forbid I should think so. I thought I should not be much puzzled to hit upon the islands. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. but I was exceedingly affected at it. to our great joy. In the course of a few days more. The care of the vessel took up all my time.' I replied. and was called Captain. besides that he was in general mild. for the success I had met with increased the affection of my friends in no small measure. As we were now out of the variable winds. When this dear friend found the symptoms of death approaching. and I now obtained a new appellation. ver. and I could not help looking on this. for. When the death of the captain became known. and I afterwards gained near three hundred per cent. he was to me a friend and a father. Or GustavusVassa. the strength of my regard for him. and I was thankful accordingly. otherwise trifling circumstance. I verily believe I should not have obtained my freedom when I did. and. I was persuaded I steered right for Antigua. and the day following we committed his body to the deep. 95 hh-bb. and the next day after we came safe to Montserrat. 'I should then be the most ungrateful of wretches to the best of sorrow by his bedside. Every man on board loved this man. FOOTNOTES: [Footnote U: Acts. and in the course of nine or ten days we made this island. All rights are reserved. and regretted his death. affable. though on the deck. had it pleased Providence that he had died but five months before. This elated me not a little. but the turkies I had. At the same time the sable captain lost no fame. and it is not improbable that I might not have been able to get it at any rate afterwards. generous. he called me by my name. so that in the event it proved a happy circumstance for me that I had not bought the bullocks I intended. as a particular providence of God.

These dreams however made no impression on my mind. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and consented to go another voyage to Georgia. in quest of a ship--Their distress--Meet with a wrecker--Sail for Providence--Are overtaken again by a terrible storm. where we stayed but a few days.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. after some time. I dreamt the ship was wrecked amidst the surfs and rocks. King.’ As I had now. and in consequence of this he steered a new course. it being my watch below. I was pumping the vessel a little Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and he had done so much for me that I found myself unable to refuse his requests. and on the 30th of January 1767 we steered for Georgia. ‘The author. an old acquaintance of mine. King still pressed me very much to stay with his vessel. where my heart had always been. as the mate. of which I had been long tired. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and returning to England. and that I was the means of saving every one on board. CHAPTER.com . and are all near perishing--Arrive at New Providence--The author. and. and steer a new course--Three remarkable dreams--The vessel is shipwrecked on the Bahama bank. which was soon after we had got into our new course. was quite useless in the vessel. which I thought I had pretty well discharged in bringing back his vessel safe. and is obliged to put back and refit--Arrives at Georgia--Meets new impositions--Two white men attempt to kidnap him--Officiates as a parson at a funeral ceremony--Bids adieu to Georgia. King. we set sail for St. to oblige Mr. by the death of my captain. Accordingly a new captain was appointed. except my gratitude to Mr. and on the night following I dreamed the very same dream. VIII. All rights are reserved. I began to think of leaving this part of the world. Our new captain boasted strangely of his skill in navigating and conducting a vessel. several points more to the westward than we ever did before. I had little inducement to remain longer in the West Indies. Or GustavusVassa. in a small boat. and delivering his cargo to his satisfaction. principally by means of the author--He sets out from the island with the captain. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. 96 hh-bb. but the crew are preserved. this appeared to me very extraordinary. having refitted our vessel. lost my great benefactor and friend. from his ill state of health. Eustatia. and sails for Martinico. but Mr. and the next evening. sails from thence to Georgia--Meets with another storm. once more embarks for Georgia in one of his vessels--A new captain is appointed--They sail. and taken several slaves on board. whose name was William Phillips. On the fourth of February.

I therefore went to him again. 'are round us.' With that he came on the deck with me. I thought that God had hurled his direful vengeance on my guilty head for cursing the vessel on which my life depended. I remembered the Lord. At twelve o'clock the watch was changed. and. and he immediately called to me that there was a grampus. which had been pretty high. and tired at the pump. just before I went off the deck. and I heard the noise of the breakers all around us. and I uttered with an oath. and we tried to put the vessel about. growing quite enraged. He said it was very well. when I saw the sea wash up against it again and again. told him the danger we were in. and the captain having not yet come on the deck I lost all patience. At half after one in the morning the man at the helm saw something under the lee-beam that the sea washed against. (for we made a good deal of water) I began to express my impatience. while the dreadful surfs were dashing with unremitting fury among the rocks. and desired me to look at it. 'Damn the vessel's bottom out. having abated a little. and the vessel is almost on the rock. as I had always the charge of the captain's watch. Still the captain did not appear. and fastened it to the anchor. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and had scarcely fallen asleep when I dreamed the same dream again about the ship that I had dreamt the two preceeding nights. the sloop was pierced and transfixed among the rocks! In a moment a scene of horror presented itself to my mind. I was exceedingly alarmed at this. and. and get her out of the current. We then called all hands up immediately. and asked him why he did not come up. As soon as I was upon deck the wind. Or GustavusVassa. and. Accordingly I stood up and observed it for some time. by means of the current.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. as it were one wave calling on its fellow: the roaring of the billows increased. and told him the vessel was then near a large rock. but. When I was upon the deck again I saw we were not above a pistol shot from the rock. I then went upon deck. By this time the surf was foaming round us. All rights are reserved. and made a dreadful noise on the breakers. and desired him to come upon deck immediately. and I went up again. but all to no purpose. Being soon certain of this. with some confusion. and. I ran down to him again. the vessel began to be carried sideways towards the rock. and I returned to the deck.' said I. and especially. with one single heave of the swells. and being weary with the duty of the day. and after a little we got up one end of a cable. though fearful that I was undeserving Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I said it was not a fish but a rock. I went down to the captain. such as I never had conceived or experienced before. When I left the deck I went to bed. and the very moment we let the anchor go the vessel struck against the rocks. after eight o'clock. and I expected every moment to go to the bottom: I determined if I should still be saved that I would never swear again. the wind being very small. as is the custom. and what he could mean by all this? 'The breakers. and desired he would come up with speed.' But my conscience instantly smote me for the expression. My spirits at this forsook me. And in the midst of my distress. 97 hh-bb. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. All my sins stared me in the face. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.com . He said he would. One swell now succeeded another.

we could not avoid having our legs cut and torn very much with the rocks. calling to mind the many mercies he had shewn me in times past. for it would not have carried above ten at the most. At last it saluted our longing eyes. Or GustavusVassa. and. where there were above twenty. This cost us much labour and fatigue. I took some pump leather and nailed it to the broken part. for there was not water enough for our boat to go over the reefs. with the utmost anxiety of mind we watched for daylight. about five or six miles off. but a barrier soon presented itself. and. and were convinced besides that the boat could not survive the surfs. and I believe no mind was ever like mine so replete with inventions and confused with schemes. and as we knew not where to go. though we went with the boat Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. And. however. we were therefore obliged to put but few in the boat at once. what was yet more distressing. though how to escape death I knew not. and I believe the people would have tossed him overboard if I had given them the least hint of it. and I thought that as he had often delivered he might yet deliver. and the next thing that we discovered to raise our drooping spirits. and we had no materials to mend her. and some of us began to set about it. and I fainted. as none of us could leave the vessel then on account of the darkness. and thereby we should be drowned. and plastered it over with tallow-grease. However the hatches were not nailed down. I then began to think how we might be saved. The captain then said it must be done: I asked him why? He said that every one would endeavour to get into the boat. that it quite overpowered me. we all said we would remain on the dry part of the vessel. I recovered just as the people were about to nail down the hatches. what is still worse. There were only four people that would work with me at the oars. but there was no alternative.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. of forgiveness. and. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. The captain immediately ordered the hatches to be nailed down on the slaves in the hold. when we should know better what to do. and. thus prepared. they gave me some small hope that he might still help me. I could no longer restrain my emotion. Our boat had a piece out of her bottom near two feet long. all of whom must unavoidably have perished if he had been obeyed. All rights are reserved. When he desired the man to nail down the hatches I thought that my sin was the cause of this. but some abandoned all care of the ship and themselves.com . and that God would charge me with these people's blood. all of us were frequently under the necessity of getting out to drag and lift it over the reefs. for the dreadful swell began to subside. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. perceiving which. was a small key or island. and I told him he deserved drowning for not knowing how to navigate the vessel. and kind Providence accompanied its approach with what was no small comfort to us. This thought rushed upon my mind that instant with such violence. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and they consisted of three black men and a Dutch Creole sailor. 98 hh-bb. I then advised to get the boat prepared against morning. and this threw us again into a sad consternation. and. necessity being the mother of invention. and thought every minute an hour till it appeared. which was but small. and fell to drinking. I desired them to stop. and trust to God till daylight appeared.

the rest of us were obliged to double our exertions. But. and indeed they soon got so drunk that they were not able. we continued all the day to toil and strain our exertions. who could think that men should be so careless of the danger they were in? for. if the wind had but raised the swell as it was when the vessel struck. so that out of thirty-two people we lost not one. and while we were on the key I was a kind of chieftain amongst them. and we held a consultation how to act. finding it to be a good soil where we were. I warned the people who were drinking and entreated them to embrace the moment of deliverance. we had no others to assist us. I really believe the people could not have been saved. and lemons ashore. with a white sandy beach running in a regular order along it. we could not conceive what they were: our captain swore they were cannibals. we must have bid a final farewell to all hopes of deliverance. I planted several of them as a token to any one that might be cast away hereafter. that. which consist of a cluster of large islands. but lay about the deck like swine. This key. that. five times that day. nevertheless they persisted. God would charge me with their lives. was one of the Bahama islands. the skin was entirely stript off my hands. which. oranges. if any of these people had been lost. This want of assistance made our labour intolerably severe.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. it was fulfilled in every part. till we had brought all on board safe to the shore. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. from the reflection of the sun. and. was one cause of my labouring so hard for their preservation. All rights are reserved. and. 'let us go on shore here. and it was fortunate we did. appeared to us at a little distance as large as men. On that part of it where we first attempted to land there stood some very large birds. for in a very little time longer the patch of leather on the boat would have been worn out. so that we were at last obliged to lift them into the boat and carry them on shore by force. for not one of the white men did any thing to preserve their lives. as if not possessed of the least spark of reason. This created a great panic among us. for. by putting on shore so often that day. but I was against it. and perhaps these cannibals may take to the water. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. for our danger was the same I had dreamt of: and I could not help looking on myself as the principal instrument in effecting our deliverance. 'And therefore. The captain wanted to go to a key that was within sight. My dream now returned upon my mind with all its force. Situated as we were. had we not worked in this manner. called flamingoes: these. It was about a mile in circumference. and she would have been no longer fit for service. owing to some of our people getting drunk. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. as in so doing we should not be able to save all the people. but a great way off. insomuch. perhaps. with smaller ones or keys.com .' Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. when they walked backwards and forwards. 99 hh-bb.' said I. I could not help thinking. I brought some limes. and though. as we afterwards found. as they are called. Or GustavusVassa. interspersed among them. and indeed every one of them afterwards seemed so sensible of the service I had rendered them. However.

On the second day of our voyage we came to an island called Obbico. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and waited with impatience for the morning. and in this manner we proceeded to sea. after refreshment. and we determined to repair our boat. in the evening. with five more. We then went to look for fresh water. 100 hh-bb. and at last they took flight and relieved us entirely from our fears. so that our dejection at this period became excessive.com . we hauled the boat ashore to try for water and remain during the night: when we came ashore we searched for water. When it was dark. Or GustavusVassa. About the key there were turtles and several sorts of fish in such abundance that we caught them without bait. which was in the form of a punch-bowl at the top. There was also a large rock on the beach. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. When we had got all things prepared the captain wanted me to stay on shore while he went to sea in quest of a vessel to take all the people off the key. as the place was an entire thick wood. and the captain and myself. and we took it by turns to watch. which was quite uninhabited. some biscuit.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. In this situation we toiled all day in sight of the island. and to put to sea in quest of a ship or some inhabited island. we made a fire around us for fear of the wild beasts. and that we could not use without water. but this I refused. in some little time after it would turn as salt as sea-water. they walked off one after the other very deliberately. and fastened our boat. and our terror so great. four of water. if we did not take the water when it rained. which was a great relief to us after the salt provisions on board. and when we approached them. and we were almost famished for want of fresh water to drink. the largest of the Bahama islands. and we were exceedingly fatigued in pulling two days in the heat of the sun. but could find none. Accordingly we steered towards them. We were much in want of water. As soon as the light appeared we set off again with our boat. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Our first care. that we expected nothing but death to deliver us. we made ashore again. for by this time our water was expended. was to make ourselves tents to lodge in. It took us up however eleven days before we could get the boat ready for sea in the manner we wanted it. and we dug and searched about for some all the remainder of the evening. In this situation we found very little rest. We could not Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. this we could not help thinking Providence had ordained to supply us with rainwater. with a sail and other necessaries. for our sail was of no use. We had no more than two musket load of gunpowder with us if any thing should happen. in hopes of finding assistance during the day. We then began to think how we might get from this place. some salt beef. All rights are reserved. but could not find one drop. set off in the boat towards New Providence. about ten feet high. which was very much shattered. which we did as well as we could with some sails we had brought from the ship. and our stock of provisions consisted of three gallons of rum. to our very great joy and no less wonder. and it was something singular that. We had nothing left to eat but salt beef. being quite faint for the want of it. seeing no relief. We were now much dejected and weakened by pulling the boat. which was very long. and it being late in the evening.

but in a little time some of us began to be afraid it was not a sail. when. and we all instantly turned to look at it. be that as it might. and likewise their people's help to get what they could out of her. we then dug in several places. and would kill us. went ashore on one of those keys again in hopes of finding some water. swore that they were pirates. Our captain. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. but could not meet with a ship. a circumstance which we could not make out the meaning of. we plainly saw that it was a vessel. touch our beef. and were then to carry the crew to New Providence. for there was no alternative between their perishing and ours.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. We tried to catch fish. and. the captain all at once cried out 'A sail! A sail! a sail!' This gladdening sound was like a reprieve to a convict. in this situation. which was as salt as brine. and I really believe that the captain. for which the wrecker was to have all things belonging to the vessel. that I brought in the boat. and quite full of people. and. When we came near to her. but none of us could touch it. However. and abandon ourselves to despair. and. and immediately boarded her. and the next morning we set off again from the island in hopes of seeing some vessel. myself. At this our drooping spirits revived. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. we embarked and steered after it. who was a Welchman. All rights are reserved. except the poor Dutch Creole. as soon as we got on board. we found she was a little sloop. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. during which we passed several keys. This counsel was immediately taken. without fresh water. to our unspeakable joy. but how great was our surprise. who drank above a quart of it as eagerly as if it had been wine. When unwelcome night came we acted as on the night before. to find that the major part of them were in the same predicament as ourselves! They belonged to a whaling schooner that was wrecked two days before us about nine miles to the north of our vessel. in half an hour. Or GustavusVassa. in the same manner as we had done. and we were in the greatest terror from the apprehension of wild beasts. about the size of a Gravesend hoy. but could not. when they met with this little sloop. to New Providence in quest of a ship. 101 hh-bb. we rowed alongside. would then have faced twenty men. their employment in those seas being to look after wrecks. In this manner we toiled as well as we were able till four o'clock. we must oppose them as well as we could. and the Dutchman. we must board her if we were to die for it. still famishing with thirst. We had two cutlasses and a musquet. I said. if they should not receive us kindly. but without success. which we lapped with much eagerness. like us. Here we found some leaves with a few drops of water in them. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. As we were digging holes in search of water there came forth some very thick and black stuff. and. in the midst of our murmuring. When she was wrecked some of them had taken to their boats and had left some of their people and property on a key. They were then going to take the remainder of the people belonging to the schooner. I believe there were about forty hands on board. and we now began to repine at our fate. and we made towards her with all the speed imaginable. at a venture. called a wrecker. and were going.com .

and whilst we were yet amongst the Bahama keys. because our people were in want of water. and struck several times on the shoals. but the day after we left the island. and. and they saw nothing but death before them. towards New Providence. sure enough. and in two days we arrived at the key. and each moment to be our last. with a little buoy. which we still saw on the water. they therefore hired the schooner's people to work on our wreck. although the swell was high beyond expression. they got the punt clear from the vessel. and we left them our boat. to the inexpressible joy of the people that we had left behind. and it was not till after sailing for three or four days that we got safe to the farther end of it. The island of Abbico was much longer than we expected. We told the people of the wrecker the condition of our vessel. attempted to go to the buoy of the anchor. we were overtaken by a violent gale of wind. 102 hh-bb. and several others. The vessel was very near foundering. and death stared us in the face on every side. for she parted from her anchors. Nothing could have been more fortunate than our meeting with this wrecker. therefore. Or GustavusVassa. late in the evening. fainted. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. All the swearers on board now began to call on the God of Heaven to assist them: and. The eyes of us all were fixed on them all the time. for a speedy deliverance. and. A coil of very small rope. and embarked for New Providence. with great hazard. on their behalf. All rights are reserved. and he heard and answered us! Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. as they had been reduced to great extremities for want of water in our absence. which was not large enough to carry more than two. beyond our comprehension he did assist us.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. two men. and for our own. but they said they might as well die that way as any other. for New Providence was at such a distance that we never could have reached it in our boat. the wrecker had now more people on board than she could carry or victual for any moderate length of time. expecting every minute to be their last: and the prayers of all those that remained in their senses were offered up to God. and these two intrepid water heroes paddled away for life towards the buoy of the anchor. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. as our provisions and water were almost exhausted. on their complying. and we made the same agreement with them as the schooner's people. we begged of them to go to our key directly. at some distance. We then proceeded on our voyage. to go along with us first. Luckily for us. so much so that my old captain and sickly useless mate. who were expert swimmers. She filled different times in their endeavours to get into her alongside of our vessel. as well as we. in a little punt that belonged to the wrecker. Here we expected every minute that she would have gone to pieces.com . and. which depended on them. was put in along with them. which proved a great relief to us. so that we were obliged to cut away the mast. at last. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and in a miraculous manner delivered us! In the very height of our extremity the wind lulled for a few minutes. When we arrived there we watered. and got a good many lobsters and other shellfish. They agreed.

told four of us that his vessel was going there. I refused. Two days after this the wind ceased. and knowing we wanted to go to Georgia. Or GustavusVassa. and I agreed to go with him in this vessel. in order to catch the buoy: at last we caught it. and fastened it to the buoy: which being done we hauled for our lives. had not my heart been fixed on England. The punt then went on shore. if we would work on board and load her. though. necessity obliged them to accept of the offer. during which time I met with many friends. under the lime and lemon trees. and about eleven o'clock the same morning a short and sudden gale sprung up and blew away most of our Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. they tied one end of their rope to the small buoy that they had in the punt. and shaped their course where their inclination led them. We on board observing this threw out boathooks and leads fastened to lines. These two men at last reached the buoy. and the water became smooth. which in three days more we reached safe. and sent it adrift towards the vessel. and.com . The inhabitants here were very kind to us. who had a large sloop. seeing our condition. for Georgia. At length Captain Phillips hired a sloop to carry him and some of the slaves that he could not sell to Georgia. We sailed about four o'clock in the morning.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and to steer that course. 103 hh-bb. This. but those who have suffered the same hardships. with a fair wind. and were now as elated as they were before depressed. Soon after this every one of my old fellow-sufferers that were free parted from us. and. and fastened a hawser to the end of the small rope. as I liked the place extremely. through the mercy of God. he would give us our passage free. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. meaning now to take my farewell of that place. when they learned our situation. As we could not get any wages whatever. and. where we must go if we went in her. and we passed our time pleasantly together. All rights are reserved. but my fellow-sufferers not having any money to help themselves with. and there were some free black people here who were very happy. and. and fixed it up. It is impossible for any to conceive our heartfelt joy at this second deliverance from ruin. we got again from the shoals into deep water. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and away we went once more for New Providence. When she was entirely loaded he told us she was going to Jamaica first. who gave me encouragement to stay there with them: but I declined it. shewed us a great deal of hospitality and friendship. after having been above three weeks in a situation in which we did not expect to escape with life. though we had only our victuals allowed us. we were obliged to consent to his proposal. and found it very hard to get off the place. Those whose strength and senses were gone came to themselves. and we went on board and helped to load the sloop. and they pulled the hawser to them. and I took my leave of New Providence. we then gave them a sign to pull. however. not without regret. One merchant. and having found our mast and mended it we brought it on board. and the punt got safe to the vessel. with the melodious sound of the catguts. though they did not like it. and we cut down some trees. having fastened the punt to it. We stayed in New Providence about seventeen or eighteen days. As soon as we had done this we got up the anchor. When the vessel was ready we all embarked. I should have stayed. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.

The next day we returned to Providence. and they were going to lay violent hands on me.' said I. Some of those people knew that I was a free man. but. when one of them. we were saved through God's mercy. and drank some punch with us: they also begged some limes of me.' We therefore once more set sail. and the same evening I went to a friend's house to lodge. and. they did not take the same liberty with him they did with me. and I asked them. as they understood I had some. but I thought immediately of the oranges and limes at Santa Cruz: and seeing that nothing would pacify them I went with them to the watch-house. and he will deliver us. 'what will you do with me?'--'That you shall see. I told them that I was a free man. 'but you must go to the watch-house with us. after our kindness to them. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and that we never should arrive safe at Georgia. said that as I was a free man they could not justify stripping me by law. and swear not. that we were not making any noise. I said. and then they told me that I must be flogged too. But these things did not deter me.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. but was very well known there: 'Besides. and. with hard labour. and. sails. Why so? They said that all negroes who had light in their houses after nine o'clock were to be taken into custody. I asked why? and if there was no law for free men? And told them if there was I would have it put in force against them.com . we got the vessel off. and being many in number. they knocked at the door: we opened it. as we were still amongst the keys. and either pay some dollars or be flogged. and others that we had witches and wizzards amongst the poor helpless slaves. in a very few minutes it dashed the sloop against the rocks. 'Let us again face the winds and seas. by using our greatest exertions. A little after this they told me I must go to the watch-house with them: this surprised me a good deal. All rights are reserved. Luckily for us the water was deep. About that time the watch or patrol came by. as the man of the house was not free. after having for some time laboured hard. and after supper we had a light till it was between nine and ten o'clock at night. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. 104 hh-bb. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. After our arrival we went up to the town of Savannah. where I remained during the night. and instantly they swore they would serve me as Doctor Perkins had done. But this only exasperated them the more. discerning a light in the house. Some of the people swore that we had spells set upon us by somebody in Montserrat. We were very happy at meeting each other. in seven day's time arrived safe at Georgia. but trust to God. and. Or GustavusVassa. whose name was Mosa. which I readily gave them.' Now whether they meant to get money from me or not I was at a loss to know. more humane than the rest. and they came in and sat down. Early the next morning these imposing ruffians flogged a negro-man and woman that they had in the watch-house. and that I was not a stranger in that place. a black man. I then immediately sent for Doctor Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.' replied they. and the sea was not so angry but that. and had his master to protect him. where we soon got her again refitted. and just arrived from Providence.

com . which belonged to Grenada. and they must not think to serve me so. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I stayed in Savannah some time. I then accordingly assumed my new vocation. and at last consented to act the parson for the first time in my life. but I told them to be still and keep off. I told her I was no parson. and not able to get any white person to perform it. after which I bade adieu to Georgia. As soon as these men accosted me.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. 'This is the very fellow we are looking for that you lost:' and the other swore immediately that I was the identical person. Brady. On this they made up to me. I believed I did. King. and besides. and on his coming to my assistance they let me go. and my mind was likewise good. and the other answered that I talked too good English. As she was much respected. Captain John Bunton. and then to take a final farewell of the American quarter of the globe. and was bound to Martinico. Before I left Georgia a black woman. and one said to the other--it will not do. who meant to play their usual tricks with me in the way of kidnapping. who was known to be an honest and worthy man. and I shipped myself on board of her. I was beset by two white men. the rogues left me. 105 hh-bb. and. At this they paused a little. for I had seen those kind of tricks played upon other free blacks. a French island. This was not the only disagreeable incident I met with while I was in this place. while I was a little way out of the town of Savannah. one day. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and sailed for Martinico. and performed the funeral ceremony to the satisfaction of all present. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. for. I replied. there was a great company both of white and black people at the grave. At last I met with a sloop called the Speedwell. with a cargo of rice. after we had talked together a little in this manner. my old master. anxiously trying to get to Montserrat once more to see Mr. This however did not satisfy her. and I had also with me a revengeful stick equal to the occasion. Or GustavusVassa. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. being very tenacious of the church burial service. who had a child lying dead. and were about to handle me. applied to me for that purpose. All rights are reserved. she still urged me very hard: I therefore complied with her earnest entreaties. that the service over the dead did not affect the soul. Happily however it was not used. one of them said to the other.

and goes a voyage to Turkey and Portugal. I wanted my discharge.’ I thus took a final leave of Georgia. Pierre. that throughout the West Indies no black man's testimony is admitted. by which I was near losing my passage that season to England. slaves were better treated. for it was then the month of May. when Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. for the treatment I had received in it disgusted me very much against the place. and another to Jamaica--Returns to the Doctor. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Capt. which is the principal one in the island. as I could not recover it by law: for I have already mentioned. and afterwards goes a voyage to Grenada. and. and looked better than those in the English islands. and found it very pleasant: in particular I admired the town of St. after an agreeable voyage. we got safe to our intended port. I met with so much shuffling from him. and. CHAPTER. to render my condition worse. which I now wanted to enable me to prosecute my intentions. In general also. but when I applied for it. and sails for England--Meets Capt. which was necessary. Thus we sailed from Martinico for the Grenades. therefore. While I was on this island I went about a good deal. where he learns to freshen sea water--Leaves the doctor.com . and I wished much to be at Montserrat to bid farewell to Mr. to remain with him till he might be disposed to return it to me. had more holidays. Pascal--Learns the French horn--Hires himself with Doctor Irving. I had lent my captain some money. with the Hon. This I told him. and when I left it and sailed for Martinico I determined never more to revisit it. and they embark together on a voyage to the North Pole. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I was obliged. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and all my other friends there. that I began at last to be afraid of losing my money. Or GustavusVassa. All rights are reserved. I frequently pressing the captain for my money to no purpose. though I urged the necessity of my occasion. IX ‘The author arrives at Martinico--Meets with new difficulties--Gets to Montserrat. and the dangers the author was in--He returns to England. 106 hh-bb. and built more like an European town than any I had seen in the West Indies. on any occasion. Phipps--Some account of that voyage. in time to sail for Old England in the July fleet. alas! I had put a great stumbling block in my own way.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. King. My new captain conducted his vessel safer than my former one. and therefore my own oath would have been of no use. After we had done our business here. But. against any white person whatever. where he takes leave of his old master.

I could then have gotten my passage free to Montserrat had I been able to accept it. he desired me to go on board. Luckily I found. that I might do very well. The worst of all was. with a great many entreaties. This reduced me to great perplexity. I arrived at the wished-for place. and. and I could not get my money nor wages. Eustatia. but he insisted it was necessary. when all human means of escaping destruction seemed hopeless.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. in a few minutes. I now learned with extreme sorrow. however. insisting. the Nancy. and give notice of my going off the island. It swept great part of the town away. with a heavy heart. for if I should be compelled to submit to this degrading necessity. having told them my situation. but the captain and others would not take me on board until I should advertise myself. and Mr. the good man expressed a great deal of affection for me. I saw my friends with a gladness of heart which was increased by my absence and the dangers I had escaped. I wanted to go in her. to whom I related the fate of his sloop. and which I thought a gross imposition upon any freeman. on this.com . Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and the ships in the islands must sail by the 26th of that month. I got my money from the captain. and then I could not get to England that year. We then set sail. Some of them. All rights are reserved. At last. by the bursting of a pond at the top of a mountain that was opposite the town of Plymouth. and took the first vessel I could meet with for St. and no time could be lost. King lost a great deal of property from the inundation. to my very great joy. went with me to the captain. and that I had come to visit him before my departure. and I was received with great friendship by them all. that it was growing late in July. it being late in the evening. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and. and the causes of her being wrecked. and in a short time have land and slaves of my own. and nearly his life. and that the time then would not admit of advertising. and the captain about to sail. which every black freeman is under. I requested their friendly assistance in helping me off the island. so that my situation became daily more irksome: for besides that we on board had little or no victuals allowed us. we got there. and satisfied him of my freedom. and sorrow that I should leave him. When I told him I intended to go to London that season. and warmly advised me to stay there. to try who I could get to befriend me in complying with the demands of the captain. On the 22d. I told them of my haste to be in Montserrat. having met with a vessel bound to Montserrat. as I was much respected by all the gentlemen in the place. From thence I went in another to Basseterre in St. I thanked him Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. 107 hh-bb. that his house was washed away during my absence. and otherwise he said he would not take me. The vessel was just going off. Kitts. King. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I immediately therefore set about. some gentlemen of Montserrat whom I knew. of advertising himself like a slave. in which I had more than once experienced the delivering hand of Providence. and the next day. the 23d. Or GustavusVassa. the captain and his owners quarrelled. after an absence of six months. I feared I should miss that opportunity of going to Montserrat. when he leaves an island. but particularly by Mr. where I arrived on the 19th of July.

com .’ 'The bearer hereof. and never had my feet on it since. All rights are reserved. I wished for a grateful and thankful heart to praise the Lord God on high for all his mercies! We had a most prosperous voyage. I told them my history. Gustavus Vassa. after many sincere professions of gratitude and regard. for this instance of his friendship. I immediately received my wages. exceedingly glad to see myself once more on board of a ship. I parted from my kind master. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. as I had regaled myself I went in quest of those kind ladies. previous to my setting off. which he very readily complied with. and I never had earned seven guineas so quick in my life before. with some of my countrymen. I now entered upon a scene. andmall other dreadful instruments of torture. I declined remaining any longer there. and prepared for my departure for London. 108 hh-bb. I found them at May's-hill. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and discharged his duty with honesty and assiduity. and still more so. after which I took leave of all my friends. the passage to London. dashing surfs. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Or GustavusVassa. whom I was very impatient to see. and amongst the first of those were the Miss Guerins. and gave me the following: ‘Montserrat. and I quite overjoyed at meeting with them. as I wished very much to be in London. and begged he would excuse me. January 26. In this situation my first thoughts were to look out for some of my former friends. and on the 24th and 25th I had free dances. during which he has always behaved himself well. I had thirty-seven guineas in all. I then requested he would be kind enough to give me a certificate of my behaviour while in his service. after having been absent from it above four years. for seven guineas. They were most agreeably surprised to see me. 1767. I immediately agreed to go with one Capt. therefore. adieu to oppressions (although to me less severe than most of my countrymen). adieu to the offensive sight of the violated chastity of the sable females. and with it I bade adieu to the sound of the cruel whip. as they are called. when I got cleared of the ship. With a light heart I bade Montserrat farewell. but. and with some difficulty and perseverance. at the end of seven weeks. As soon. 'To all whom this may concern.' Having obtained this. on board a ship called the Andromache. Greenwich. and. Thus were my longing eyes once more gratified with a sight of London. was my slave for upwards of three years. and adieu to the angry howling. but full of hope. which has too often accosted my eyes.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and on the 26th I embarked for London. quite new to me. in steering the course I had long wished for. at which they expressed great wonder. John Hamer. Robert King. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. arrived at Cherry-Garden stairs.

In that time we had a neighbour in the same court who taught the French horn.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Accordingly he took me in hand. who lived in the same court. after I had been such a faithful servant to him for so many years. as I had thirty-seven guineas. that he did not seem to be sorry for his behaviour to me. and procured me a master. 109 hh-bb. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. if they pleased.' I told him then that I would try it. that they were sorry it did not suit them to take me as their servant. I was with this man from September till the February following. so that all the time I was there I was entirely employed. by his manner. on which. Some time afterwards these friendly ladies asked me what I meant to do with myself. where he kept an academy and an evening-school. therefore I thanked God and him for it. and you had better try it. and that I had not much reason to expect any favour from him. A few days after this I met Capt. In February 1768 I hired myself to Dr. which would support me for some time. without saying any more. and. with whom he placed me. which I esteemed a great blessing. and soon after they recommended me to a gentleman whom I had known before.com . He said there was none due to me. Mr. and I soon learned all the three parts. in a bantering tone. and I met him four or five days after in Greenwich park. a hair-dresser. and freely acknowledged it did their cousin. They answered me very politely. and never made any farther demand of my right. I told him that he had used me very ill. but if not. the evenings being long. I thanked them. Haymarket. I remained still. out of regard to the ladies.' To which he replied dryly. and said. and agreed with him to teach me to blow it. Pascal. I would be their servant. who treated me with much kindness. hair-dressing. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. At this time also I agreed with the Rev. and asked me what business I should like to learn? I said. Gregory. I took great delight in blowing on this instrument. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and it filled up my vacant hours innocently. 'In a ship. and here I had plenty of hair-dressing to improve my hand. He used to blow it so well that I was charmed with it. I did not like to be idle. on which he bade me defiance. desired me to commence a lawsuit against him for it: 'There are lawyers enough. This gentleman was an excellent master. and besides that I was fond of it. and allowed me in the evenings to attend my schools. This he did as far as barter and alligation. He then visited there frequently.000 L. he was exceedingly kind and good tempered. for. Charles Irving. he turned about and went away. if my prize money had been 10. and began to instruct me. 'I suppose you did not walk back to London on the water.'that will take the cause in hand. which enraged him very much. he had a right to it all. however. and how they could assist me. to improve me in arithmetic. Pascal at Miss Guerin's house. When he saw me he appeared a good deal surprised. and asked him for my prize-money. They then promised to assist me in this. All rights are reserved. I told him I was informed otherwise. in Pall-mall. so celebrated for his successful experiments in making sea water fresh. no honour. in Coventry-court.' said he. one Capt. Capt. I would be much obliged to them to recommend me to some person who would teach me a business whereby I might earn my living. O'Hara. and used all Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and asked me how I came back? I answered. Or GustavusVassa.' As I saw.

I was directed to his lodgings. and he wanted a man who could dress hair well. In general I believe they are fond of black people. just such an one as I wished to serve. and I already foreboded no small pleasure in sailing in her. I thought it best. so that I was perfectly happy. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and in all these places I was charmed with the richness and beauty of the countries. The ship was called the Delawar. 110 hh-bb.com . We had always in them plenty of extraordinary good wines and rich fruits. and most of them have graves adjoining to them. and our voyage was extremely pleasant. and my master's name was John Jolly. and whenever I did they were covered with a veil from head to foot. per annum) I soon found would not be sufficient to defray this extraordinary expense of masters. We went to Villa Franca.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. so that they sometimes present the appearance of church-yards. which were by two thirds less than I ever had in my life (for I had only 12l. the houses are built of stone. This diligence and attention recommended me to the notice and care of my three preceptors. which I was very fond of. and I now determined to gratify it. pomegranates. my old thirty-seven guineas had by this time worn all away to one. as I had been bred to it. All rights are reserved. and treated me always with great civility. I had also a very great desire to see Turkey. and from thence to Smyrna in Turkey. When we left Italy we had delightful sailing among the Archipelago islands. 1768. where I met with him the next day. to which he made no opposition. Provisions are very plentiful in this city. which afforded me opportunities to see the country around. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. who on their parts bestowed a great deal of pains in my instruction. for I soon heard of a gentleman who had a ship going to Italy and Turkey. and very rarely any in the streets. Accordingly. however. as I had been directed. Nice. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. in the month of May. and went immediately on board of his ship. I also learned navigation of the mate. He liked it so well that he hired me immediately. and had hitherto found the profession of it successful. and several of them gave me pressing invitations to stay amongst them. for my captain always lodged on shore in those places. I was extremely fortunate in my inquiry. and good wine less than a penny a pint. and my own necessary expenses. Or GustavusVassa. a neat smart good humoured man. were entirely to my mind. separate. to try the sea again in quest of more money. I told the doctor my wish to go to sea again. or Christians. which I found to be fitted up with great taste. which I was very fond of. and gave him a specimen of my dressing. I was overjoyed at this. master. for the ship. and I had frequent occasions of gratifying both my taste and curiosity. my diligence to improve the opportunity. and besides were all very kind to me. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I was astonished in not seeing women in any of their shops. and do not suffer them to dwell immediately amongst them. and many other fruits. The same day I went into the city in quest of a master. My wages. Not finding the gentleman on board. and voyage. We sailed from England in July following. and we parted on friendly terms. and Leghorn. This is a very ancient city. and struck with the elegant buildings with which they abound. The grapes. The natives are well looking and strong made. although they keep the franks. therefore. were also the richest and largest I ever tasted.

particularly the garden of Eden. I had a great curiosity to go into some of their churches. Or GustavusVassa. whose condition both there and in other parts of Italy is truly piteous and wretched. and is excellent in puddings. and got them very cheap. From curiosity. a charming city. so that I could not see their faces. This place abounds with plenty of all kinds of provisions. Our next voyage was to the Mediterranean. and commands a fine prospect. and remarkably clean. there were sent on board to us thirty-six articles to observe. The less refined Greeks.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. for which it is much used. I therefore complied with this ceremony. soon after our return from Turkey. which was about five months. I was surprised to see how the Greeks are. 111 hh-bb. during which we bought many different things which we wanted. but its virtues were lost on me. during our stay here. and none of us even dared to go on board any other vessel or on shore till the Inquisition had sent on board and searched for every thing illegal. and many had very curious fountains before them. and sung Te Deum. our ship made a delightful voyage to Oporto in Portugal. and so very large. we sailed for London. we sailed for England. The churches were rich and magnificent. The town is well built and pretty. where many of the clergy and laity went in procession in their several orders with the host. I could not help observing one very remarkable circumstance there: the tails of the sheep are flat. The fat of them is very white and rich. I liked the place and the Turks extremely well. and any person in whose custody a bible was found concealed was to be imprisoned and flogged. the moles for shipping are excellent. and other articles. were sent on shore till the ships were going away. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Our ship having taken in a load of wine. some of the edifices were of beautiful marble. and certain other things. dance here in the same manner as we do in my nation. I saw here many very magnificent sights. with very heavy penalties if we should break any of them. The ship was again got ready. Our ship being at length richly loaded with silk. On the whole. On our arrival. which they sometimes did.com . and sent into slavery for ten years. as I have already hinted. we sailed to Naples. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. In May 1769. and a wish to be holy. and curiously adorned both in the inside and out. and we sailed in September for Genoa. in some measure. kept under by the Turks. and arrived in July following. All rights are reserved. The bay is the most beautiful I ever saw. that I have known the tail even of a lamb to weigh from eleven to thirteen pounds. where we arrived at the time of the carnival. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and made a most noble appearance. for I found myself nothing the better for it. But all this grandeur was in my eyes disgraced by the galley slaves. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. especially bibles. except when any of them out of curiosity uncovered them to look at me. as the negroes are in the West Indies by the white people. but could not gain admittance without using the necessary sprinkling of holy water at my entrance. This is one of the finest cities I ever saw. After we had stayed there some weeks. and other commodities. Such as were produced.

I have seen many caravans from India. in melting some fat. and near sailing. when our ship was loaded. but he still amused us with promises. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and we were so near that the ashes from it used to be thick on our deck. overset the pan into the fire under the deck. this honest buyer discovered no intention or sign of paying for any thing he had bought of us. and offered me two wives. and the flame went up very high under the foretop. and we sailed in about March 1770 for England. the ship. once more to try my fortune in the West Indies. and made me many fair promises as usual. and I always found the Turks very honest in their dealings. we arrived in Standgate creek in July. which are a kind of pulse. and altogether speechless.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. The plague broke out while we were in Smyrna. and I all separated. sweet and pleasant to the palate. He had likewise bought goods from some more of our people. they brought with them a great quantity of locusts. In April 1771 I shipped myself as a steward with Capt. 112 hh-bb. With the fright the poor cook became almost white. and we sailed from London for Madeira. and wanted me to stay. I too. They let no Christians into their mosques or churches. A black cook. we told his worship of the man's villainous tricks. as I was always fond of going to see the different modes of worship of the people wherever I went. for which I was very sorry. I thought it extraordinary to see grand operas acted here on Sunday nights. and begged that he would be kind enough to see us redressed: but being Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and in shape resembling French beans. On this we went to complain to one Mr. when I asked him for my money he threatened me and another black man he had bought goods of. Or GustavusVassa. laden with different goods. Robertson of the ship Grenada Planter. She was then richly laden. Each kind of goods is sold in a street by itself. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. After various delays in this passage. whom he intended to serve in the same manner. which was tedious. where we arrived in December. an islander. The merchants here travel in caravans or large companies. but longer. When we were at this last place. However. All rights are reserved. and the Grenades. like these great ones. and we stopped taking goods into the ship till it was over. Wm. with some hundreds of camels. and even attended by their majesties. and vainly served God in the day while I thus served mammon effectually at night.com . so that my noble captain. One day in our passage we met with an accident which was near burning the ship. Among other articles. of which I had a perfect view. While we remained here there happened an eruption of mount Vesuvius. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. A seraskier or officer took a liking to me here. a justice of the peace. A white man. some new event occurred. Happily however we got the fire out without doing much mischief. but without any intention of paying me. bought some goods of me to the amount of some pounds. M'Intosh. however I refused the temptation. The people of these caravans are quite brown. which immediately began to blaze. but on the contrary. I met once more with my former kind of West India customers. having some goods to sell. and. went to those sights. at the latter end of the year. It was extremely awful. Barbadoes. so that we found we were like to get more blows than payment. After we had transacted our business at Naples we sailed with a fair wind once more for Smyrna.

com . they go about to different people for employment. We then repaired on board. this man was also indebted to three white sailors. There was a vast number of negroes here. glad to get off so easily. well peopled. we knew not how to help ourselves. the rogue offered each of us some small allowance. but he begged hard for mercy. This exasperated us much more. being still of a roving disposition. Or GustavusVassa. I shipped myself soon after. There were also. There are negroes whose business it is to flog slaves. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. in order to relieve the reader by a milder scene of roguery. finding he was likely to be handled roughly. and we all went together in search of him. I pass over numerous other instances. I held in a barrel of gunpowder. who could not get a farthing from him. after we had entirely stripped him. Smith at Port Morant bought goods of me to the amount of twenty-five pounds sterling. and we sailed from England in December 1771 for Nevis and Jamaica. It remained in the powder until it was near catching fire. we could not get any remedy. which. and in two hours the vermin stung them to death. one Mr. I found Jamaica to be a very fine large island. which was at last granted him. for which he thanked us. called the Jamaica. without thinking. Just as our ship was under sail. and the most considerable of the West India islands. and ran into the bushes. in my hurry. All rights are reserved. on which. and our ship being then just upon the point of sailing. after having wished us a good voyage. in which posture he was flogged most unmercifully. negroes. who had staked up two negroes naked. and shortly after set sail for England. and I got clear of this ship. I took him out of a house and threatened him with vengeance. We then let him go. as steward on board of a fine large ship. though we thought it hard to lose our property in this manner. and desirous of seeing as many different parts of the world as I could. I saw many cruel punishments inflicted on the slaves in the short time I stayed here. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. two different masters noted for cruelty on the island. and then some half hundred weights were fixed to his ancles. owing to a piece of negligence of mine. When we found where he was. and had a lighted candle in my hand. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. although free. But. but nothing near our demands. as I heard. when fortunately I observed it and snatched it out in time. In twenty-eight days time we arrived in England. Captain David Watt. whom I found as usual exceedingly imposed upon by the white people. I went down into the cabin to do some business. but Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Before I had been long on the island. Luckily for us however. 113 hh-bb. I heard a gentleman I well knew tell my captain that he passed sentence on a negro man to be burnt alive for attempting to poison an overseer. in the same year. but I was so overcome with terror that I immediately fainted at this deliverance.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and the usual pay is from one to four bits. they therefore readily joined us. In particular I was present when a poor fellow was tied up and kept hanging by the wrists at some distance from the ground. I cannot help remarking here a very narrow escape we had from being blown up. and providentially no harm happened. and the slaves punished as in the other islands. and some were for cutting his ears off.

which placed me in a very aukward situation. Being now tired of the sea I gladly accepted it. and a spark having touched a single thread of the tow. which made me ever after during the voyage uncommonly cautious. and immediately the whole was in a blaze. and expected to be the first to perish in the flames. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. In a moment the alarm was spread. I was very happy in living with this gentleman once more. 114 hh-bb. who made me an offer of his service again. particularly at a large commodious place. and threatened that he would put me in goal. in the grave with the corps. pipes and tobacco. On my return to London. and to find. at another he would swear I was going to run away with his slaves. the 24th day of May 1773. and many other dangerous things. in his Majesty's sloop of war the Race Horse. called Spring Path. All rights are reserved. where I slept. I was therefore obliged to submit. and I had no other place for this purpose but a little cabin. One time he would say I was going to set his house on fire. but I had no alternative. Irving. I waited on my old and good master. particularly with tow and aquafortis.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Our ship having got her loading we sailed for London. This little place was stuffed with all manner of combustibles. what our Creator never intended we should. I was astonished at this usage from a person who was in the situation of a gentleman. where we were joined by his Majesty's sloop the Carcass. commanded by Captain Lutwidge. and put victuals. On this day I had a great and unexpected deliverance from an accident which was near blowing up the ship and destroying the crew. or the doctor's store-room. we therefore prepared every thing for our voyage. I was surprised to see the number of Africans who were assembled together on Sundays. and the handkerchief on my neck. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. during which time we were daily employed in reducing old Neptune's dominions by purifying the briny element and making it fresh. and other things. I saw nothing but present death before me. all the rest caught the flame. when I was roused by the sound of fame. Unfortunately it happened in the evening as I was writing my journal. to seek new adventures. when I demanded payment from him. where we arrived in the August following. Here each different nation of Africa meet and dance after the manner of their own country. Or GustavusVassa. in the same manner as in Africa. Dr. he was going each time to beat me. and on the 15th of the same month we were off Shetland. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. On the 4th of June we sailed towards our destined place. conducted by the Honourable John Constantine Phipps. were burnt. towards the north pole. and I attended him on board the Race Horse. My master being anxious for the reputation of this adventure. When I came to Kingston. Thus I went on till May 1773. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. We proceeded to Sheerness. my shirt. that I had occasion to take the candle out of the lanthorn. since Lord Mulgrave. and many people who were near ran to assist in putting out the fire. The ship was so filled that there was very little room on board for any one.com . the pole. An expedition was now fitting out to explore a north-east passage. I had resolved to keep a journal of this singular and interesting voyage. a passage to India. All this time I was in the very midst of the flames. They still retain most of their native customs: they bury their dead.

some people brought blankets and mattresses and threw them on the flames. and. and were with difficulty prevented from staving or oversetting her. One of the ship's boats had before been attacked in the Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. which was our course. and we fastened to a piece of ice that was eight yards eleven inches thick. They all joined in an attack upon the boat. The water thus distilled was perfectly pure. I thought them coarse eating. we saw many very high and curious mountains of ice. and free from salt. and told us of three ships that were lost in the ice. Though they had nothing in their paunches but water yet they were all very fat. I was severely reprimanded and menaced by such of the officers who knew it. when we were stopt by one compact impenetrable body of ice. but we could not get any. Or GustavusVassa. The weather now became extremely cold. One morning we had vast quantities of sea-horses about the ship. and joined it. the captain of a Greenland ship came on board. but some of the ship's company relished them very much. in order to take some. well tasted. We fired some harpoon guns amongst them. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. We ran along it from east to west above ten degrees. by which means in a short time the fire was put out. and I was almost smothered with the smoke. and as we sailed between north and east. I was tempted again to venture by stealth with a light in the same cabin. brought up with it a number of others. after having wrested an oar from one of the men. and also a great number of very large whales. indeed. On the 28th of June. 37. to heighten it still more. However. On the 20th of June we began to use Dr. in the boat. which gave cheerfulness and novelty to the whole of this striking. but a boat from the Carcass having come to assist ours. We had generally sunshine. 115 hh-bb. and blow the water up to a very great height in the air. All rights are reserved. and on the 27th we got as far north as 80. and uncommon scene. where I was surprised to see the sun did not set. grand. We killed many different animals at this time. not being able to write my journal in any other part of the ship. being in lat. the reflection of the sun from the ice gave the clouds a most beautiful appearance. and constant daylight. I used to attend the distillery: I frequently purified from twenty-six to forty gallons a day. On the 29th and 30th of July we saw one continued plain of smooth unbroken ice. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Irving's apparatus for making salt water fresh. fired at and wounded a sea-horse. Some of our people once. which dived immediately. as I was nearly giving up all hopes. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. they dispersed. bounded only by the horizon. even my own fears made me give heed to this command for a little time. and. and strictly charged never more to go there with a light: and.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. which neighed exactly like any other horses. and was used on various occasions on board the ship. and in 19 or 20 degrees east longitude from London. and among the rest nine bears. but at last. we made Greenland. in a little time after. which used to come close to our ship.com . however we still held on our course till July the 11th. though not without considerable fear and dread on my mind. The 30th. 78. through God's mercy. We used to decoy them to the ship sometimes by burning feathers or skins.

however. and was very near being drowned. which were now out of sight. and was exceedingly doubtful of a happy eternity if I should die in it. The officers now held a council to know what was best for us to do in order to save our lives. This seemed to us like a reprieve from death.E. Our appearance now became truly lamentable. of us. in this our distress began to call on the good God of heaven for his help. While we were at this hard labour I once fell into a pond we had made amongst some loose ice. we made signals for the boats and the remainder of the people.N. we made very little progress. and the fourth of our drawing the boats in this manner. Many of us on this got on board again. and happy was the man who could first get on board of any ship. I had the fears of death hourly upon me. who had been before blasphemers. and some miles from the boats. 116 hh-bb. We remained hereabouts until the 1st of August. but happily no harm was done. so that some of our hearts totally failed us. Or GustavusVassa. However. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. having a prospect of success. so that on the 7th day we were in very great apprehension of having the ships squeezed to pieces. All rights are reserved. brought me gradually to think of eternity in such a manner as I never had done before.com .The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. occasioned by the loose ice that set in from the sea. and now. that the wind changed to the E. pale dejection seized every countenance. and made all the sail on them in our power. and in the time of our utter need he heard us.W. but. and I really began to give up myself for lost. when I saw our surrounding calamities. This determination filled us with extreme dejection. or the first boat he could meet. and thereby I escaped drowning. which kept up the constant apprehension of our perishing in the ice. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. to our infinite joy and gladness of heart. Our deplorable condition. and the ice broke towards the sea. which was to the S. We then began to drag the boats as well as we could towards the sea. and shuddered at the thoughts of meeting the grim king of terrors in the ‘natural’ state I then was in. and against hope or human probability delivered us! It was the eleventh day of the ships being thus fastened. We then proceeded in this manner till we got into the open water again. and with all our might we hove the ships into every open water we could find. This made our situation very dreadful and alarming. for we saw that our existence could not be long on the ice after leaving the ships. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and it was determined that we should endeavour to escape by dragging our boats along the ice towards the sea. which we accomplished in about thirty hours. after two or three days labour. but providentially some people were near who gave me immediate assistance. I had no hopes of my life being prolonged for any time. for we had very little prospect of escaping with life. Though we wounded several of these animals we never got but one. which. when the two ships got completely fastened in the ice. The weather immediately became mild. many. we sawed some of the ice about the ships to keep it from hurting them. and confounded us with despair. was farther off than any of us thought. and thus kept them in a kind of pond. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. same manner.

but all is one desolate and expanded waste of ice. We now lost sight of the Carcass till the 26th. This made us work exceedingly hard at all our pumps a whole day. it was dark by ten o'clock at night. and shipped a great deal of water in the space of ten hours. we met a very severe gale of wind and high seas. by all accounts. and on the 30th came up to Deptford. The sun now being on the decline the days shortened as we sailed to the southward. so that we thought she would have gone down. to toss some of our guns overboard. when we saw land about Orfordness. Two boats were washed from the booms. And thus ended our Arctic voyage. where the inhospitable climate affords neither food nor shelter.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. laid her under water for some time. in very great distress. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. being much farther. and her masts were gone. in which time. and one sea.com . on the 28th. From thence we sailed for London. to the no small joy of all on board. at the same time. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. which even the constant beams of the sun for six months in the year cannot penetrate or dissolve. which struck the ship with more force than any thing I ever met with of the kind before. off which place she joined us. 117 hh-bb. and not a tree or shrub of any kind grows amongst its barren rocks. in latitude 58-59. after having been absent four months. We saw a ship. and we were obliged. we explored nearly as far towards the Pole as 81 degrees north. As soon as we were out of danger we came to anchor and refitted. but we were unable to assist her. among which were many curious things of different kinds which we had brought from Greenland. All rights are reserved. in latitude 73. and the long-boat from the chucks: all other moveable things on the deck were also washed away. Or GustavusVassa. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. in order to lighten the ship. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. in which we fully proved the impracticability of finding a passage that way to India. than any navigator had ever ventured before. and 20 degrees east longitude. at the imminent hazard of our lives. and. September the 10th. and on the 19th of August we sailed from this uninhabited extremity of the world.

First I went among the Quakers. and in so doing procure a title to heaven. which availed me nothing. but was not in the least satisfied. and others. at all events. At length I had recourse to the Jews. and lodged in Coventry-court. with whom I continued for some time. X. not being able to find any person amongst my acquaintance that agreed with me in point of religion. Haymarket.' I was much dejected.com . CHAPTER. and to seek the Lord with full purpose of heart ere it was too late. which made a lasting impression on my mind. to read the four evangelists. and. I used every means for this purpose. James's. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Thus I went on heavily without any guide to direct me the way that leadeth to Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. St. 'that would shew me any good. particularly those of my last voyage. so that I remained as much in the dark as ever. I returned to London with Doctor Irving. I first frequented the neighbouring churches. and whatever sect or party I found adhering thereto such I would join. where I was continually oppressed and much concerned about the salvation of my soul. or. I rejoiced greatly. it caused me to reflect deeply on my eternal state.’ Our voyage to the North Pole being ended. being resolved to be saved. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and the author's fruitless endeavours to procure his freedom--Some account of the manner of the author's conversion to the faith of Jesus Christ. in scripture language. for many weeks: still I came away dissatisfied. for the fear of eternity daily harassed my mind. I then searched into the Roman catholic principles. I pursued other methods still. Or GustavusVassa. ‘The author leaves Doctor Irving and engages on board a Turkey ship--Account of a black man's being kidnapped on board and sent to the West Indies. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. something was wanting that I could not obtain. however. and I really found more heartfelt relief in reading my bible at home than in attending the church. and was determined (in my own strength) to be a first-rate Christian. by the grace of God. 118 hh-bb. proved afterwards a mercy to me. However this was my conclusion. being the result of a mind blended by ignorance and sin. and. and heartily thanked the Lord for directing me to London. Doctor Irving. and.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. All rights are reserved. where the word of God was neither read or preached. and I knew not where to seek shelter from the wrath to come. the purifier of waters. two or three times a day. where I was determined to work out my own salvation. and knew not where to seek relief. In process of time I left my master. during which I began seriously to reflect on the dangers I had escaped.

Such was my situation some months. or pay me a farthing of his wages. I sought for a master. though he afterwards tried many schemes to inveigle the poor man. having learned that the man was on board. fitting out in the river Thames. I sent as soon as I could to Gravesend. having known the want of liberty myself. having obtained a ‘habeas corpus’ for him. I asked different people questions about the manner of going to heaven. and finding those who in general termed themselves Christians not so honest or so good in their morals as the Turks. it certainly reflected great disgrace on the mate and captain also. and. or indeed so much inclined to devotion. and bound to Smyrna in Turkey. My being known to them occasioned me to use the following deception: I whitened my face. and tied. and when all their attempts and schemes of kidnapping proved abortive. that they might not know me. I shipped myself with him as a steward.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. It was now early in the spring 1774. and forcibly took him away from the ship. who was about setting off for Scotland. April the fourth. from whom he parted by consent. I really thought the Turks were in a safer way of salvation than my neighbours: so that between hopes and fears I went on. and got a tipstaff to go with me to St. I thought we should not all be saved (this is agreeable to the holy scriptures). Kirkpatrick. who had detained him after he had notice to come away. and also dressing of hair. This man was on board the ship near two months doing his duty: he had formerly lived many years with Mr. Here I was much staggered. which I then practised. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. who attempted to regain him his liberty if possible. Paul's church-yard. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. at any rate. William Kirkpatrick. set a watch to look out. that I was convinced I excelled many of them in that point. and next morning I contrived a well plotted stratagem notwithstanding he had a gentleman in his house to personate Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.com . Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Kirkpatrick came to our ship at Union Stairs on Easter Monday. I found none among the circle of my acquaintance that kept wholly the ten commandments. So righteous was I in my own eyes. who. Or GustavusVassa. and could not find any at that time more righteous than myself. He did not go out of his house that night. I determined at last to set out for Turkey. All rights are reserved. although they had desired the oppressed man to stay on board. and there to end my days. My intention was then immediately to apprehend Mr. by keeping eight out of ten. and this had its desired effect. and got knowledge of the ship in which he was. Kitts to trepan him. experiencing the dishonesty of many people here. as a cook. nor would all be damned. I proved the only friend he had. and found a captain John Hughes. yet he did not in the least assist to recover him. with two wherry boats and six men. which was about five pounds. where he lived. at the same time I recommended to him a very clever black man. and was told different ways. a gentleman of the island of St. he. and the chief comforts I enjoyed were in the musical French horn. John Annis. commander of a ship called Anglicania. but unluckily she had sailed the first tide after he was put on board. in the presence of the crew and the chief mate. I believe that this was a combined piece of business: but. eternal life. 119 hh-bb. Mr. suspecting something of this kind. He had applied to many captains who traded to St. Kitts.

while he was in this situation. and gave me every instruction that was needful on the occasion. I often wished for death. Capt. Kitts. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. where I saw that: 'There is no new thing under the sun. so that I became a burden to myself. and. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. was cut and flogged most unmercifully. never more to return to England.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and the only comfort I then experienced was. he was. in reading the holy scriptures. he took my money. and viewed all things around me as emptiness and vanity. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and others. when deep sleep falleth upon men. Suffering much by villains in the late cause. and did not do the least good in the cause: and when the poor man arrived at St. these things (but particularly the latter) brought me very low. My direction to the tipstaff. alas! my attorney proved unfaithful. and being much concerned about the state of my soul. my mind was unaccountably disturbed. Kitts. I had two very moving letters from him. with the warmest sense of gratitude towards Mr. Sharp for his kindness. who got admittance into the house. When he came there. according to the writ. I proceeded immediately to that philanthropist. in slumberings upon the bed. and two on his ancles. him. that he had not the body in custody. and wished often to be any thing but a human being. particularly in his providential dealings. and frequently murmured against the Almighty. Mr. i. Thus I continued to travel in much heaviness. and also was told of it by some very respectable families now in London. but. I was again determined to go to Turkey. two on his wrists. I engaged as steward on board a Turkeyman (the Wester Hall. who received me with the utmost kindness. 120 hh-bb. All this appeared to be against me. I left him in full hope that I should gain the unhappy man his liberty. in the same state in which he remained till kind death released him out of the hands of his tyrants. on which he was admitted to bail. according to custom. Granville Sharp. was to conduct him to a judge. and afterwards loaded cruelly with irons about his neck.com . Or GustavusVassa. at that time. lost me many months employ. his plea was. awful to think! I began to blaspheme.' Eccles. who saw him in St. but was prevented by means of my late captain. During this disagreeable business I was under strong convictions of sin. which could give no satisfaction to a troubled conscience. staked to the ground with four pins through a cord. 9. In these severe conflicts the Lord answered me by awful 'Visions of the night. and thought that my state was worse than any man's. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. 15. though at the same time convinced I was altogether unprepared for that awful summons. Esq. and resolved. Hughes.' Job xxxiii. All rights are reserved. Linna). And what was appointed for me I must submit to.

to give me to see. and in so clear a point of view. that my strength entirely failed me for many minutes. was pleased to grant my request. that the Lord would point them out to me. 16. whether I did not wish to love him more. I invoked Heaven from my inmost soul. I would then. and being yet in a state of time. I knew not what he meant by hearing the gospel. At length I hated the house in which I lodged. I felt that I was altogether unholy. 121 hh-bb. The Lord. in his manifold mercies. and serve him better. as I desired to love the Lord. I will answer. To which I replied. and in that memorable hour there came in a dissenting minister. as soon as I recovered a little strength.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and full of compassion to such poor rebels as we are. All rights are reserved. that 'no unclean person. because God's most holy name was blasphemed in it. He began to discourse with me. if there were any holier than those with whom I was acquainted. and indeed I had never heard before the love of Christ to believers set forth in such a manner. his conversation rejoiced me greatly. I prayed to be directed. no unholy thing. I thought. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and was ready to say to the mountains and rocks 'fall on me. and. viz. who experienced much of the love of God shed abroad in his heart. I had better want them here. This was the first spiritual mercy I ever was sensible of. it pleased God to direct me to a house where there was an old sea-faring man. the reader may easily discern. but not having a convenient place for retirement. where I heard the gospel preached. the sense of God's mercies was so great on my mind when I awoke. and being on praying ground. and asked me some few questions. and that day as I was walking. in much mercy. vi. which I felt were grievous. I appealed to the Searcher of hearts. if he is a believer.' Eph. then I saw the word of God verified. Or GustavusVassa. 'I attended St. 'Before they call. have changed my nature with the meanest worm on the earth. they were given me to glorify God with.' Rev. and fervently begged that God would never again permit me to blaspheme his most holy name. but all in vain. rather than stay amongst the wicked ones. and while they are yet speaking. 5. if it had been possible.' I had a great desire to read the bible the whole day at home. and saw clearly what a bad use I had made of the faculties I was endowed with. I left the house in the day. and I was exceedingly weak. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and in some measure to understand. who is long-suffering. or whether I went at all or not. and got out of bed and dressed myself. condescended to hear and answer. v. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I will hear. He was pleased. he joined our discourse. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. among others. can enter into the kingdom of God. the great and awful scene of the judgment-day. I then requested the divine Creator that he would grant me a small space of time to repent of my follies and vile iniquities. therefore. that I was still in nature's darkness. The Lord. I told him I had read the gospel: and he asked where I went to church. Here I had more questions to put to the man than his time would permit him to answer. Notwithstanding all this.com . and enter into life eternal. than abuse them and be cast into hell fire.

and each person communicated with his neighbour. I was. Lastly. intermingled with admiration. St. of the primitive Christians. I knew not what to make of this sight. and wished to live and die thus. and was persuaded in my mind that they were different from the world 'that lieth in wickedness. All rights are reserved. having never seen any thing of the kind in my life before now. He then invited me to a love-feast at his chapel that evening. When I left him he reminded me of coming to the feast. Thus we parted. Soho. and I weighed over the heavenly conversation that had passed between these two men. in short. This I knew in a great measure. 'you are a churchman. and sipped water out of different mugs. which cheered my then heavy and drooping spirit more than any thing I had met with for many months. and happily the old man was there. Martin's. 19. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. to each of them. which they distributed about. and between the singing the minister engaged in prayer. &c. much was said by every speaker of the providence of God. and thanked him. I accepted the offer. and his unspeakable mercies. I thought the time long in going to my supposed banquet. some persons in the place produced some neat baskets full of buns. Ann's. I also wished much for the company of these friendly men. I assured him I would be there. Their language and singing. 122 hh-bb. But when they spoke of a future state. they seemed to be altogether certain of their calling and election of God. who kindly seated me.com . Or GustavusVassa. or pluck them out of his hands. a stranger. nor ever thought of seeing on earth. and I thought the gentlemen very kind. I was much astonished to see the place filled with people. added to some profitable reading. and that no one could ever separate them from the love of Christ. to have it in a chapel! When the wished-for hour came I went. to a feast.'--'So. However. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.' 1 John v. in asking me. as he belonged to the place. agreeable to what I read in the Scriptures. James's.' said he. It was the first soul feast I ever was present at. There were many ministers in the company. I had some further discourse with the old Christian. This kind of Christian fellowship I had never seen. their company pleased me much. In partaking of it. this entertainment (which lasted about four hours) ended in singing and prayer. which they handed about to all who were present.' I answered. and could most heartily join them. This filled me with utter consternation. but how singular did it appear to me. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I was so amazed as not to know what to think of the company.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. did well harmonize. my heart was attracted and my affections were enlarged. it fully reminded me of what I had read in the holy scriptures. I was entirely overcome. and no signs of eating and drinking. At last they began by giving out hymns. I wished to be as happy as them. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. which made me exceedingly happy. and St. and soon after he went away. even from house to house. Some of the guests began to speak their experience. who loved each other and broke bread.

I saw that time was very short. he. This last twenty-four hours produced me things. Mr. and I more so to see them. I heard the gospel preached. The poor man came over the sea to London. till time summoned me away. and I once heard. As I was going they lent me a little book. with a farewell to card-playing and vain jesting. The above book was of great use to me. I prayed that the many evils I felt within might be done away. to see my new and worthy acquaintance. &c. The next day I took courage. and at that time was a means of strengthening my faith. to return to my lodgings. eternity long. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. a reverend gentleman speak of a man who had departed this life in full assurance of his Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. in directing the blind. cometh. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and both quite glad to see me. they seemed mutually happy.com . Or GustavusVassa.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. who. and pleasant. at which I felt the greatest horror. and went to Holborn. where the name of God was continually profaned. with any propriety. were at work at silk weaving." It was in questions and answers. to inquire after the Christian's God. and if I perished I thought it should be at the feet of Jesus. in parting. I knew not how. and the thoughts of my heart and actions were laid open by the preachers. and had not his journey in vain. (through rich mercy) he found. and that I might be weaned from my former carnal acquaintances. C----. Thus I went on happily for near two months. entitled "The Conversion of an Indian. or when the Judge of all. fearing an evil report might arise. At last. and we conversed much about soul matters. and I was soon connected with those whom the scripture calls the excellent of the earth. and very near. and so far I thanked God for such company and desires. whether to hire a bed elsewhere. All rights are reserved. &c. that I could not but admire the goodness of God. and will hear and answer the prayers and supplications of every returning prodigal: O! to grace how great a debtor Daily I'm constrain'd to be! After this I was resolved to win Heaven if possible. they both invited me to call on them when I pleased. during this period. and instead of judgment he has shewed mercy. even among the just. 123 hh-bb. I sat down. both quick and dead. the old man. This delighted me. not knowing what to do. with his wife. however. I went home. After having been an eye-witness to some of the happiness which attended those who feared God. blasphemous sinner in the path that he knew not of. This was quickly heard and answered. and I took care to make all the improvement from it I could. I paused in my mind for some time. and the way of salvation by Christ alone was evidently set forth. in praying to him for salvation. Their discourse was amazingly delightful. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I knew not at last how to leave this agreeable pair. a gracious woman. spiritual and temporal. or go home again. and I viewed those persons alone blessed who were found ready at midnight call. judgment and mercy. sleeping and waking. edifying.

I was much wounded at this discourse. who was a clerk in a chapel. that if I did not experience the new birth. and he added. nor could I. I then asked my friend. and could not help thinking how it was possible for a man to know that his sins were forgiven him in this life. whether he was sure to enter the kingdom of God? and added. and I staggered much at this sort of doctrine. that no man ever did or could keep the commandments. and the pardon of my sins. going to glory. and was told also. In a short time after this I went to Westminster chapel. 'I perceive you are a churchman. 'The law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. he evidently justified the Lord in all his dealings with the sons of men. therefore Christ Jesus seemed to be all in all to that man's soul. the Rev. I knew not what to think of this report. the Lord would say at that great day to me 'Go ye cursed. I told him it was very mysterious. for God would appear faithful in his judgments to the wicked. I wished that God would reveal this self same thing unto me. not knowing which to believe. It was a wonderful sermon. and puzzled me much for many weeks. The discourse seemed to me like a Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. but he said it was really matter of fact. he also shewed the justice of God in the eternal punishment of the wicked and impenitent. then my worthy interpreter told me I did not do it. through the blood of Christ. as I thought I kept eight commandments out of ten. and discontent seized me. so we parted for that time. P---. and the true state of my soul. agreeable to what I read in the oracles of truth. L----d. 'Do you ‘know’ that your sins are forgiven you?' He answered in the affirmative. anger. Then confusion. I asked him. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I was much astonished at the assertion. iii. why the commandments of God were given. from Lam. He said. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.' who alone could and did keep the commandments. I could not enter the kingdom of heaven. and that none but God alone could do this. and the sins of those chosen vessels ‘were already’ atoned for and forgiven them whilst living.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.com . it brought me to a stand. if ‘he’ was to die that moment. 124 hh-bb. before I died. and brought into such a dilemma as I never expected. he clearly shewed that a living man had no cause to complain for the punishment of his sins. as he would be faithful in shewing mercy to those who were ordained to it before the world was.' I answered I was. and fulfilled all their requirements for his elect people. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. even those to whom he had given a living faith.preached. He then desired me to pray to God to shew me these things. I thought the prayer very short and odd. and did very deliberately inquire how he could get at this knowledge. He assured me he could not. whether salvation by works or by faith only in Christ. if we could not be saved by them? To which he replied. All rights are reserved. to which I could make no reply. I was answered fully. He then entreated me to beg of God to shew me what I was. I weighed all these things well over. Mr. without offending in one point. Mr. I thought this sounded very strange. that I prayed to God every day. and if I did not experience the same before my exit. 39.' &c. Or GustavusVassa. I answered. and quoted many portions of scripture immediately to the point. I requested him to tell me how I might know when my sins were forgiven me. for I thought it a hard saying. &c.

the first thing he asked me was. and wished I had never been born. and. nor was I likely to get a situation suitable for me. All rights are reserved. for the minister exhorted me much. I should certainly go to hell. and resolved to follow his advice. When I conversed with him.'--'Then. and hear the word preached. though much distressed. Again I was convinced that the Lord was better to me than I deserved. Richard Strange. lest I should catch the horrible infection. Capt. I hated all things. about my soul. and I murmured much at God's providential dealings with me. Now I thought much of my good works. 'Yes. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. During this time I was out of employ. and when it was ended. it afforded me much joy. he would endeavour to convince me of it. till I became a Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and broke the sabbath. I went to the chapel. so I took my leave of him. I engaged as steward of a ship called the Hope. and prayed. One day I was standing on the very edge of the stern of the ship. what I knew of Christ? I told him I believed in him. but that I sometimes swore on board ship. after having life and death set evidently before me. He then asked me if I could read? I answered. 'when were you brought to the knowledge of God? and how were you convinced of sin?' I knew not what he meant by these questions. but recommended me to read the scriptures. and the length of eternity. Here I was struck with awe. intermingled with many fears. thinking.' Then he assured me. confusion seized me. and I was better off in the world than many. and was discontented with the commandments. I was full of meditation till the day of examining. and reminded me of the shortness of time. My mind was uncommonly chagrined. I fretted. which obliged me to go once more to sea. so far as the Lord would condescend to enable me.' said he. Then I paused. that I could not be saved by what I had done. Or GustavusVassa. 15.' 1 John iii. with many thanks. could enter the kingdom of Heaven. not to neglect fervent prayer to God. two-edged sword cutting all ways.'do you not read in the bible. After this I began to fear death. but this scripture was instantly impressed on my mind--'that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. and at the same time was doubtful of my being a proper object to receive the sacrament. and I feared greatly. and I wished to be annihilated. and thought myself the unhappiest man living. 'Then. and sometimes when on shore.' said he. the ensuing week. 'Yes. he gave it out that he intended. to examine all those who meant to attend the Lord's table.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. or any thing unclean. However. he that offends in one point is guilty of all?' I said. mourned. I told him I kept eight commandments out of ten. I thought if I sinned again. who has promised to hear the supplications of those who seek him in godly sincerity. and had been baptized in his name. 125 hh-bb. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. that one sin unatoned for was as sufficient to damn a soul as one leak was to sink a ship. bound from London to Cadiz in Spain. I addressed the reverend gentleman. if I was not right. He did not admit me as a communicant. thinking to drown myself. and that no unregenerate soul.com . In a short time after I was on board I heard the name of God much blasphemed.

and shame. or solely as the sovereign gift of God. as my burden was then greatly removed. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. commands a fine prospect. sin. &c. and letting light into a dark place. loaded and bearing my reproach. and in an instant as it were. but still meditating on the subject. burden to others. who had declared in his word that he would hear the groanings and deep sighs of the poor in spirit. and I entreated the captain three different times to discharge me. and the next day I went on board again. I found this verified to my utter astonishment and comfort in the following manner: On the morning of the 6th of October. I then clearly perceived that by the deeds of the law no flesh living could be justified. I began to think I had lived a moral life. I had a secret impulse on my mind of something that was to take place. as I was reading and meditating on the fourth chapter of the Acts. but more so to myself. and all on board shewed me very great civility: notwithstanding all this I was unwilling to embark again. particularly Mr. It pleased God to enable me to wrestle with him. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and I perished. and that I had a proper ground to believe I had an interest in the divine favour. by saying it was my lawful calling. and when 'the commandment came sin revived.com . and that God was not confined to place. 126 hh-bb. We sailed for Spain. which came with its full force to my conscience. G. but each time gave me greater and greater encouragement to continue with him. consequently it was my duty to obey. the governor of Tothil-fields Bridewell. &c. At last some of my religious friends advised me. and is very rich. it might be at Christ's feet. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I wrestled hard with God in fervent prayer. I thought that I should either see or hear something supernatural. Or GustavusVassa. which drove me continually for that time to a throne of grace. He prayed for me. In the evening of the same day.S. and I believed that he prevailed on my behalf. (I pray you to attend) or all that day. twelfth verse.' I saw the Lord Jesus Christ in his humiliation. I saw myself a condemned criminal under the law. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and reflecting on my past actions. in this deep consternation the Lord was pleased to break in upon my soul with his bright beams of heavenly light. All rights are reserved. At length I concluded to beg my bread on shore rather than go again to sea amongst a people who feared not God. and some arrived whilst we were there. and I died. where we arrived the twenty-third of the same month. under the solemn apprehensions of eternity. The Spanish galloons frequent that port. not knowing whether salvation was to be had partly for our own good deeds. who pitied my case. and I found favour with the captain. The place is strong. removing the veil. It was the fourth of the month of September when we sailed from London. he would not. I had many opportunities of reading the scriptures. and read the eleventh chapter of the Hebrews to me. I saw clearly with the eye of faith the crucified Saviour bleeding on the cross on mount Calvary: the scriptures became an unsealed book. we had a delightful voyage to Cadiz. The good man gave me a pocket Bible and Allen's Alarm to the unconverted. as Jacob did: I prayed that if sudden death were to happen. We parted. and I found a heartfelt resignation to the will of God. with exhortations.

in the abyss of thought. When I considered my poor wretched state I wept. Christ was revealed to my soul as the chiefest among ten thousand. from the day I was taken from my parents to that hour. Now the Ethiopian was willing to be saved by Jesus Christ. I saw the eighth chapter to the Romans. and every hour a day until I came to London. These heavenly moments were really as life to the dead. seeing what a great debtor I was to sovereign free grace. who could understand me or believe my report!-None but to whom the arm of the Lord was revealed. the sinner's only surety. that weighed me down before. for it is God that worketh in us both to will and to do. the burden of sin. The word of God was sweet to my taste. John iii. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. All rights are reserved. the gaping jaws of hell. verified agreeable to his eternal. This was indeed unspeakable. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. with many thanks to God that I could read it for myself. I became a barbarian to them in talking of the love of Christ: his name was to me as ointment poured forth. was then in my view. and good works he had none. this mercy melted me down. and unchangeable purposes. indeed I thought death would now be the best earthly friend I ever had. The worth of a soul cannot be told.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. being without God and without hope. Such were my grief and joy as I believe are seldom experienced. When I got out of the cabin. and I firmly believe undeniable by many. I thought my case singular. and join in prayer to him whom my soul loved and thirsted after. I was sensible of the invisible hand of God. Now the bible was my only companion and comfort. and the doctrines of God's decrees. Now every leading providential circumstance that happened to me. and what John calls an earnest of the Spirit[V]. I was bathed in tears. but to them a rock of offence. It pleased God to pour out on me the Spirit of prayer and the grace of supplication. and. indeed it was sweet to my soul. I prized it much. as if it had but just then occurred. I viewed the unconverted people of the world in a very awful state. It was given me at that time to know what it was to be born again. The amazing things of that hour can never be told--it was joy in the Holy Ghost! I felt an astonishing change. and told some of the people what the Lord had done for me. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Or GustavusVassa. and was not left to be tossed about or led by man's devices and notions. and the fears of death. everlasting. Self was obnoxious. such as few can tell aught about. which occasioned me to pray with fresh ardour. 127 hh-bb. for I much longed to be with some to whom I could tell of the wonders of God's love towards me. alas. What am I that God should thus look on me the vilest of sinners? I felt a deep concern for my mother and friends. I had uncommon commotions within.com . 5. so that in loud acclamations I was enabled to praise and glorify his most holy name.--May the Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. which guided and protected me when in truth I knew it not: still the Lord pursued me although I slighted and disregarded it. yea sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. I was then convinced that by the first Adam sin came. and by the second Adam (the Lord Jesus Christ) all that are saved must be made alive. and said. now lost their horror. and also to rely on none other person or thing for salvation.

All rights are reserved. and enabled me to believe to the salvation of my soul. ' May God give the reader a right understanding in these facts! To him that believeth all things are possible. Rom. Romaine. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. ye shall receive. I wished for a man of God with whom I might converse: my soul was like the chariots of Aminidab. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and Three in One. I saw the blessed Redeemer to be the fountain of life. Then in his name I set up my Ebenezer. the great One in Three. Hitherto he hath helped me: and could say to the sinners about me.' Mat. for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. 22. These.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. among others. and. or that the devil endeavoured to buffet me with. and his great knowledge in the scriptures. but to them that are unbelieving nothing is pure. believing. we arrived in London the month following. having a good passage.com . I experienced him all in all. and the well of salvation. but only Christ Jesus. and was 'enlightened with the light of the living. and. 30. xi. Sure I was that the Spirit which indited the word opened my heart to receive the truth of it as it is in Jesus--that the same Spirit enabled me to act faith upon the promises that were so precious to me. 'Peace I leave with you. with heartfelt gratitude to God for his rich and unspeakable mercies. Titus i. Behold what a Saviour I have! Thus I was. to my great satisfaction and surprise. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. to my comfort.' John xiv. confirmed in the truths of the bible. as I had heard of the Reverend Mr. Lord give the reader an understanding in this. Canticles vi. These glad tidings set me entirely at liberty. 12: 'Neither is there salvation in any other. he had brought me by a way that I knew not. viz. saying. which is according to God's sovereign will and pleasure. my peace I give unto you. and many texts were immediately applied to me with great comfort. He very clearly shewed the difference between human works and free election. 27. On my return I had but one text which puzzled me. for I knew that to me was the word of salvation sent. By free grace I was persuaded that I had a part in the first resurrection. xxi. 15. and he had made crooked paths straight. One day I went to Blackfriars church. 128 hh-bb. seeing my spots were Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Or GustavusVassa. were the precious promises that were so powerfully applied to me: 'All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer. and. I wished much to hear him preach. We sailed about the fourth of November. he preached from that very text. on which every soul living must stand or fall eternally. those oracles of everlasting truth. agreeable to Acts iv.' Job xxxiii. and I went out of the church rejoicing. Whenever I looked in the bible I saw things new. by the teaching of that all-glorious Deity. 6. 12. During this period we remained at Cadiz until our ship got laden.

Well may I say my life has been One scene of sorrow and of pain. How did uncommon dread prevail! My sighs no more I could conceal. 129 hh-bb. by grief constrain'd. and was received into church fellowship amongst them: I rejoiced in spirit. and had great zeal for the Lord's service. Or GustavusVassa. From early days I griefs have known. and to be with Christ--but. And as I grew my griefs have grown: Dangers were always in my path. or Reflections on the State of my mind during my first Convictions. who was a man of a choice spirit. And tried my trouble to remove: I sung. While pale dejection in me reign'd I often wept. By an unjust and cruel band. of the Necessity of believing the Truth. making melody in my heart to the God of all my mercies. and utter'd sighs between-Assay'd to stifle guilt with sin. alas! I must wait mine appointed time.com . * * * * * MISCELLANEOUS VERSES. 'But O! not all that I could do Would stop the current of my woe. Conviction still my vileness shew'd. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. particularly Mr. those of God's children.S----. and saw some of my old friends. I was again examined at that same chapel. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. All rights are reserved. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I enjoyed his correspondence till he died in the year 1784. and sometimes death. my worthy acquaintance. When taken from my native land. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. 'To ease my mind I often strove. and experiencing the inestimable Benefits of Christianity. I went to Westminster Chapel. Now my whole wish was to be dissolved. And fear of wrath.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. G---. who were glad when they perceived the wonderful change that the Lord had wrought in me.

Lord! Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. that I could not die. An orphan state I had to mourn.' Unhappy. nigh to hell?-God only knew--I could not tell! 'A tott'ring fence. blasphemy. a bowing wall thought myself ere since the fall. Nor might to one kind refuge fly. and left forlorn. Or GustavusVassa. anger. The English nation call'd to leave.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and pride. ever free. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. nigh despair.' Those who beheld my downcast mien Could not guess at my woes unseen: They by appearance could not know The troubles that I waded through.' 'Oft times I mused. How great my guilt--how lost from God! 'Prevented. Troubled my thoughts. How did my breast with sorrows heave! I long'd for rest--cried "Help me. With legions of such ills beside. more than some on earth.' while doubts and fears Clouded and darken'd most my years. All rights are reserved.-Forsook by all. 130 hh-bb. While grief compell'd me to complain. How bless'd were they compar'd to me!' Thus all things added to my pain. 'Sighs now no more would be confin'd-They breath'd the trouble of my mind: I wish'd for death. I thought the place that gave me birth-Strange thoughts oppress'd--while I replied "Why not in Ethiopia died?" And why thus spared. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. but check'd the word. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. When sable clouds began to rise My mind grew darker than the skies. And often pray'd unto the Lord. 'Lust. While birds melodious fill'd the air: Thrice happy songsters.com .

nor sea. Or GustavusVassa. Nothing I did could ease my pain: Then gave I up my works and will.com .The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Lord. Weary with travail.'midst blackest clouds confin'd. Surely. and more than heavy lot! I pray'd to God "Forget me not-What thou ordain'st willing I'll bear. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Nor land. ignorant of his righteousness. Inur'd to dangers. 131 hh-bb. 'Forgot for why his blood was shed. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. afford!" Yet on. I said "Must it thus ever be?-No quiet is permitted me. And numerous foes I had to prove. still I went-Heart-throbbing woes within were pent. of sin and fear. and self-condemned. dejected. and in my blood!' Yet here. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Train'd up 'midst perils. yet unknown To all but God and self alone. He can at once sign my release." Hard hap. Nothing my anxious mind relieve. Some mitigation. shin'd. the day-star. thought I. A beam from Christ. Set up my labours in its place. griefs. and foes. Confess'd and own'd my doom was hell! Like some poor pris'ner at the bar. could comfort give. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. All rights are reserved.' He dy'd for sinners--I am one! Might not his blood for me atone? Tho' I am nothing else but sin. I stood-'Lost in the world. Numerous months for peace I strove. deaths. Conscious of guilt. Arraign'd. And pray'd and fasted in its stead. and woes. if Jesus please. I. But O! deliver from despair!" Strivings and wrestlings seem'd in vain.

13. then I come!" the Saviour cry'd. happy hour. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and I believ'd. &c. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. "The Lord alone can ransom man-For this the spotless Lamb was slain!" When sacrifices.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. O. and pray'r. for then I found a rest! My soul and Christ were now as one-Thy light. Myself forgot. in me shone! Bless'd be thy name. in which I ceas'd To mourn. 14. O Jesus. and gladly own "Salvation is by Christ alone[W]!" FOOTNOTES: [Footnote V: John xvi.] Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. 12. and help receiv'd! My Saviour then I know I found. nor by the law:-I this have seen. works. Prov'd vain. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and ineffectual were. eas'd from guilt. bow'd his head and dy'd! He dy'd for all who ever saw No help in them. 132 hh-bb.] [Footnote W: Acts iv. "Lo.com . for now I know I and my works can nothing do. Or GustavusVassa. And. For. bleeding. Yet surely he can make me clean! Thus light came in. All rights are reserved. no more I groan'd.

and these words were that instant in my mind: "Christ is my pilot wise. the ship struck against a rock and knocked off a garboard plank. The people near to me were much astonished in seeing me thus calm and resigned. Or GustavusVassa. the advice of my friends at last prevailed. ‘The author embarks on board a ship bound for Cadiz--Is near being shipwrecked--Goes to Malaga--Remarkable fine cathedral there--The author disputes with a popish priest--Picking up eleven miserable men at sea in returning to England--Engages again with Doctor Irving to accompany him to Jamaica and the Mosquito Shore--Meets with an Indian prince on board--The author attempts to instruct him in the truths of the Gospel--Frustrated by the bad example of some in the ship--They arrive on the Mosquito Shore with some slaves they purchased at Jamaica. In an instant all hands were in the greatest confusion. in full resignation to the will of God. XI. and begin to cultivate a plantation--Some account of the manners and customs of the Mosquito Indians--Successful device of the author's to quell a riot among them--Curious entertainment given by them to Doctor Irving and the author. as I felt myself now as happy as I could wish to be in this life. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. which is the next to the keel. All rights are reserved. We had a very good passage. thinking this death would be sudden glory. I even rejoiced in spirit. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.’ When our ship was got ready for sea again. and began with loud cries to call on God to have mercy on them.com . But the fulness of time was not yet come. I for some time refused. who treats him kindly--He gets another vessel and goes on board--Instances of bad treatment--Meets Doctor Irving--Gets to Jamaica--Is cheated by his captain--Leaves the Doctor and goes for England. I felt no dread in my then situation. but. having no desire to live. however. which through sovereign grace I enjoyed. but I told them of the peace of God. My soul each storm defies. without any material accident. CHAPTER. my compass is his word. while I have such a Lord. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and. I was entreated by the captain to go in her once more.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. just as we were going into the harbour. until we arrived off the Bay of Cadiz. I again embarked for Cadiz in March 1775. when one Sunday. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. who leaves the shore and goes for Jamaica--Is barbarously treated by a man with whom he engaged for his passage--Escapes and goes to the Mosquito admiral. Although I could not swim. 133 hh-bb. and saw no way of escaping death.

com . if I got myself made a priest. we proceeded to Cadiz. he solicited me to go to one of the universities in Spain. So we parted without conviction on either side. There being only a single rock called the Porpus on which we struck. were only used on some of their grand festivals. I might in time become even pope. some of which were as thick as a man's thigh. which says. I was very much shocked at the custom of bull-baiting. As many hands as could be employed began to work. we soon got off it. some at our three pumps. in which he took great pains to make a proselyte of me to his church. we got her repaired again. 'Come out from amongst them. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I had frequent contests about religion with the reverend father.' and refused Father Vincent's offer.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. a number of them came alongside of us. we therefore run the ship ashore at the nearest place to keep her from sinking. but I answered him that Christ desired us to search the Scriptures. it was lighted occasionally by an amazing number of wax tapers of different sizes. fruits. As I was ever desirous of learning. and told me. Having taken at this place some fine wines. I used to express my abhorrence of it to a priest whom I met with. Or GustavusVassa. where there is one of the finest cathedrals I had ever seen. and then sailed for Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. a very pleasant and rich city. In his zeal for my conversion. That bears the world and all things up?" At this time there were many large Spanish flukers or passage-vessels full of people crossing the channel. and providentially it was then high water. To save me in the trying hour. Though rocks and quicksands deep through all my passage lie. 134 hh-bb. and from thence to Malaga. and money. All rights are reserved. He then said he had been in England. On these occasions I used to produce my Bible. was completed and highly decorated with the richest marble columns and many superb paintings. to the great scandal of Christianity and morals. who seeing our condition. and thought by being crafty I might catch some with guile. and that Pope Benedict was a black man. I paused for some time upon this temptation. and I no less to convert him to mine. How can I sink with such a prop. however. where we took about two tons more of money. with a great deal of care and industry. Yet Christ shall safely keep and guide me with his eye. as I heard. as I could not in conscience conform to the opinions of his church. and that every person there read the Bible. After many tides. but I began to think that it would be only hypocrisy in me to embrace his offer. however. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. When we had dispatched our business at Cadiz. I trust his faithfulness and power. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and the rest unloading the ship as fast as possible. I was therefore enabled to regard the word of God. we went to Gibraltar. and shew him in what points his church erred. these. great part of the inside. which was very wrong. and other diversions which prevailed here on Sunday evenings. It had been above fifty years in building. &c. though it was not then quite finished. and declared that I should have my education free.

whose ways with his blind creatures are past finding out. the man at the helm cried out. according to my dream. just as we had dined in the cabin. being the 21st of June. and that right before the wind. I expected that the captain would be very angry with me for speaking. And he led them forth by the right way.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and had only one bit of an oar to steer with. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. a young gentleman on board. One day. and the ship did not make in that time above six or seven miles straight course. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. we had contrary wind for several days. All rights are reserved. stood in more need of it than we. and the boat. I was the first man that jumped on the deck. came alongside with eleven miserable men. whom we took on board immediately. which I saw thus verified in the 107th Psalm 'O give thanks unto the Lord. This mercy of the Lord quite melted me. To all human appearance. but he replied not a word. looking from the shrouds onward. but. for his mercy endureth for ever. and he delivered them out of their distresses. as we were not in want of any thing on board. who. and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. we however stopped the ship's way. much to our great joy and astonishment. that they might go to a city of habitation. we saw the providential hand of our benign Creator. and though the wind was contrary for us. England in the month of June. who was a passenger. which was extremely small. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. it was as much as we could do sometimes to discern her. O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul. with hands and voices lifted up to heaven. Hungry and thirsty. However. 135 hh-bb. and that he had done all things well. As soon as we got them all on board. as the waves were high. When we were about the north latitude 42. these people must have perished in the course of one hour or less. or any other necessary whatsoever. I immediately seconded this young gentleman with some boldness. and. perhaps. and I trust that my prayers were not wanting amongst them at the same time. and had no victuals. The preceding night I dreamed that I saw a boat immediately off the starboard main shrouds. reproached him. When we took them up they were half drowned. for that the Lord was better to us than we deserved. it barely contained them. before that time on the following day. and said he acted wrong. and said we had not the least cause to murmur. the following day at noon. compass. while I was below. they bowed themselves on their knees. thanked God for their deliverance. and. A boat! which brought my dream that instant into my mind. and I recollected his words. They cried unto Lord in their trouble. for we ought to be thankful to God for all things. the boat being small. and exactly at half past one o'clock. so that they were obliged to trust entirely to the mercy of the waves. 'Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death: Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.com . for he is good. I descried a little boat at some distance. their souls fainted in them. Or GustavusVassa. water. This made the captain exceeding fretful and peevish: and I was very sorry to hear God's most holy name often blasphemed by him. yet it was fair for some others. as he was in that impious mood.

and. One of them was the Musquito king's son. under God. and took an opportunity when convenient of talking to him on the providence of God. and his wonders in the deep. he therefore gave me a space of time to repent. All rights are reserved. therefore. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I found with the Doctor four Musquito Indians. and sailed for Jamaica. By the advice. owing to which the vessel sunk that instant with two of the crew. about 150 tons.'that the Lord is good. I was very much mortified in finding that they had not frequented any churches since they were here. a youth of about eighteen years of age. which shifted that morning at five o'clock. after having been in England about twelve months. They that go down to the sea in ships.com . They were going back at the government's expense. and he could put even two or three of them together and spell them. bought a remarkable fine sloop. and were in a brig loaded with corn. knowing that the harvest was fully ripe in those parts. to be baptized. and whilst he was here he was baptized by the name of George. and received with gladness the truths that the Lord enabled me to set forth to him. I was very sorry for this mock Christianity. to my great joy. Whoso is wise and will observe these things. 'Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble. for. I had Fox's Martyrology with cuts. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Before I embarked. I taught him in the compass of eleven days all the letters. on board of the sloop Morning Star. He had a mind for a new adventure in cultivating a plantation at Jamaica and the Musquito Shore. and said that he would trust me with his estate in preference to any one. and he saved them out of their distresses. Jesus Christ. I was happy once more amongst my friends and brethren. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. during which they learned to speak pretty good English. and he used to be very fond of looking into it. When I came to talk to them about eight days before we sailed.' The poor distressed captain said. They told us they were Portuguese. that do business in great waters: these see the works of the Lord. Or GustavusVassa. and hoped to be the instrument. and were brought here by some English traders for some selfish ends. I took all the pains that I could to instruct the Indian prince in the doctrines of Christianity. of which he was entirely ignorant.' I was very glad to hear this expression. the celebrated Doctor Irving. and had just an opportunity to take some of them once to church before we sailed. when my old friend. seeing that I am not fit to die. We embarked in the month of November 1775. and brought them all safe to London: and I hope the Lord gave them repentance unto life eternal. 136 hh-bb. till November. and how these eleven got into the boat (which was lashed to the deck) not one of them could tell. We provided them with every necessary. he was quite attentive. In our passage. nor was any attention paid to their morals. Captain David Miller. who were chiefs in their own country. asked me to go with him. of my friends. I accepted of the offer. of bringing some poor sinner to my well beloved master. and Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. even they shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.

fond of being alone. came tumbling all about us. yet swear. Thus we went on nearly four fifths of our passage. although some were within a hair's breadth of being killed: and. At last he asked me. and. the reason was. but this treatment caused the prince to halt between two opinions. He replied. their pains would not make his any lighter. and get drunk. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. yet there was not one of us in the least hurt. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. particularly. only excepting yourself?' I answered him. I asked him if their toothach made his easy: he said. I endeavoured to persuade him as well as I could. and made their jest at him. that if these persons went to hell he would go to hell too. for which I rebuked them as much as I could. lie. for there was none existing. without any other clothes than his shirt. he would get up on purpose to go to prayer with me. began to ask him whether I had converted him to Christianity. and near making the land. and also some other persons in the ship at the same time. and took great delight in him. laughed. Thus they teazed the poor innocent youth. so that he would not learn his book any more! He would not drink nor carouse with these ungodly actors. and the yards. or be happy with God. nor would he be with me. No. seeing this poor heathen much advanced in piety. and know all things. I made such progress with this youth. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. which I explained to him. I was sorry to hear this. he would first come to me to pray. and. On the fifth of January we made Antigua and Montserrat. who did not believe that there was any hereafter. I was in full hope of seeing daily every appearance of that change which I could wish. the main-mast went over the side. When we were in the latitude of Martinico. and entreated him very much to tell me his reasons for acting thus. and ran along the rest of the islands: and on the fourteenth we arrived at Jamaica. by the providential hand of God. I saw two men then. even at prayers. would ask many questions about the papal cruelties he saw depicted there. This answer had great weight with him: it depressed his spirits much. Some of the true sons of Belial. told him never to fear the devil.com . during the passage. I was well pleased at this.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. This grieved me very much. they desired he might be sent to them. Many people were then all about the deck. as he sometimes had the toothach. Some of his messengers. and observe the sun. and pull down as fast as I built up. 'How comes it that all the white men on board who can read and write. one morning we had a brisk gale of wind. and rigging. if he was in his bed. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. not knowing the devices of satan. and he became ever after. that when I used to go to bed at different hours of the night. and that if any one of them died so they could not go to. but he would not come. 137 hh-bb. and used much supplication to God for his conversion. and if ever he came to the prince. most miraculously preserved from being smashed to pieces. Or GustavusVassa. that they did not fear God. when satan at last got the upper hand. carrying too much sail. who had many of his emissaries to sow his tares as fast as I sowed the good seed. especially in religion. and before he would eat any of his meals amongst the gentlemen in the cabin. All rights are reserved. Then I told him if he and these people went to hell together. masts. as he called it.

We used to make fires every night all around us. All rights are reserved. as soon as it was dark. at a place called Dupeupy. having got our necessaries out of the sloop. a Spanish guarda costa met with and took her. to purchase some slaves to carry with us.com . which received the emptying of two or three very fine large rivers. for I believe they never had such an useful man amongst them. except fishing. who was much astonished. little silk grass. except poisonous snakes. and I chose them all my own countrymen. and. set up a most hideous roaring. where he saw the sacrament administered. and a few times they assisted to cut some trees down. and a great embarrassment to us. but none of them ever hurt us. but they would not work at any thing for us. we frequently saw different kinds of animals.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. the bite of which the Doctor used to cure by giving to the patient. and shells. after I had admonished them and a few cases of liquor given them by the Doctor. Some of the native Indians came on board of us here. our vessel went northward to Black River to trade. buying and selling all kinds of commodities: and these acts afforded me great matter of exhortation to this youth. who lived fifty or sixty miles above our river. as soon as possible. While we were employed in this manner. were turtle oil. took an affectionate leave of us. One Sunday while we were there I took the Musquito Prince George to church. in order to build us houses. and abounded much in fish and land tortoise. where there was a large lagoon or lake. and plant different kinds of vegetables. We fixed on a spot near a river's bank. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. with some others. and told them we were come to dwell amongst them. and some provisions. in a rich soil. to keep off wild beasts. Our habitation being far up in the woods. and some ‘woolwow’. and they took us to different places to view the land. Or GustavusVassa. brought us a good deal of silver in exchange for our goods. about half a tumbler of strong rum. So the Doctor and I. which. in order to choose a place to make a plantation of. which they seemed pleased at. All our Indian guests now. went with them ashore. which had a quick growth. and went ashore. and they had good reason for it. we went on with the culture of the land. and we used them well. to a place called Cape Gracias a Dios. I went with the Doctor on board a Guinea-man. where they were met by the Musquito king. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and this side of the South Sea. or flat-headed Indians. we began to clear away the woods. When we came out we saw all kinds of people. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and on the eighteenth arrived at the Musquito shore. and cultivate a plantation. The principal articles we could get from our neighbouring Indians. with a good deal of Cayenne pepper in it. almost from the church door for the space of half a mile down to the waterside. On the twelfth of February we sailed from Jamaica. However. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. This proved very hurtful. Our vessel being ready to sail for the Musquito shore. 138 hh-bb. The Indians were exceedingly fond of the Doctor. and we never saw one of them afterwards. While she was there. We then sailed to the southward of the shore. In this manner he cured two natives and one of his own slaves. They came from all quarters to our dwelling.

and at the same time we made the utmost preparation to receive his honour and his train. and is treated with very great respect. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. which we did not refuse sending. Yet they seemed to be singular.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. but they either worked or slept on Sundays: and. which was. Whenever we gave them any thing to eat. This mode of living laid the foundation of my decamping at last. 139 hh-bb. in point of honesty. The women are ornamented with beads. 'you rascal. yet we slept in safety.' I never saw any mode of worship among them. we lived under an open shed. both their faces and shirts: their favourite colour is red. The Indian governor goes once in a certain time all about the province or district. by the joint labour of men. which they did exactly like the Africans. and has a number of men with him as attendants and assistants. or were disturbed. solid and sagacious. that in some length of time we really did not know one day from another. The natives are well made and warlike. I never met any nation that were so simple in their manners as these people. and children. which were very plentiful here. and the Doctor. sugar.com . but in this they were not worse than their European brethren or neighbours: for I am sorry to say that there was not one white person in our dwelling. to my sorrow. if we were to lie in that manner in Europe we should have our throats cut the first night. for rum. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. the men also paint. was one that they had got from the English. even to excess. nor any where else that I saw in different places I was at on the shore. as I ever could learn. and they particularly boast of having never been conquered by the Spaniards. by sending his stick as a token. before he and his gang Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and never lost any thing. and the men are all fishermen and canoe makers. This surprised us a good deal. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. He settles all the differences among the people. above any other nation I was ever amongst. All rights are reserved. and all our neighbouring chieftains. without a door or a lock to any one article. working was too much Sunday's employment with ourselves. The worst word I ever heard amongst them when they were quarreling. women. where we had all kinds of goods. one word expressive of an oath. myself. and always squatted down behind their husbands. and fond of painting themselves. used to say. I do not recollect any of them to have had more than two wives. We used to distil rum from pine apples. Or GustavusVassa. like the judge here. and gunpowder. but instead of that. that was better or more pious than those unenlightened Indians. The women generally cultivate the ground. or had so little ornament in their houses. the men and their wives ate it separate. we expected to find him a grave reverend judge. Upon the whole. so much so. and others. They are great drinkers of strong liquors when they can get them. and then we could not get them away from our place. Neither had they. These always accompanied their husbands when they came to our dwelling. When he came with his tribe. He took care to give us timely notice before he came to our habitation. I never saw the least sign of incontinence amongst them. and then they generally carried whatever they brought to us. The country being hot.

Or GustavusVassa. and I gave them some rum and a few other things. All rights are reserved. The casade drink was in beef barrels and Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. after which they went away peaceably. who was called Captain Plasmyah. and the Doctor interfered to make peace. out of respect to the Doctor. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and they even had plundered some of our good neighbouring Indians. and the Governor afterwards gave our neighbour. and that he was angry with them. came in sight. within five miles of us. However. and it succeeded beyond my most sanguine expectations. who was our nearest neighbour. by telling them of certain events in the heavens. a feast of drinking about. I menaced him and the rest: I told them God lived there. and also the kind of animals that were to be eaten there. Recollecting a passage I had read in the life of Columbus. and they must not quarrel so. which they squeezed. left the house. dirt and all. When the Doctor returned. When I had formed my determination. into a canoe they had there for the purpose. where. that they were all brothers. we heard them very clamorous. made entertainments of the grand kind. of which it seems a corruption of language. he was exceedingly glad at my success in thus getting rid of our troublesome guests. where the mirth was appointed to be held. and at last they became so outrageous that the Doctor. The Musquito people within our vicinity. I had recourse to the same expedient. on some occasion. taking hold of the Governor.com . We had timely notice given to us of the entertainment. I therefore thought of a stratagem to appease the riot. as we could all understand one another. fearing he might get into trouble. I was so enraged with the Governor. I pointed up to the heavens. having no alternative. and go away quietly.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. after lying some time. and I and two others went before the time to the village. having intoxicated themselves with our liquor. and also took his gold-laced hat from him. At this a great commotion taken place. ferments. myself and his people. and casades chewed or beaten in mortars. and. and made the best of his way to the nearest wood. he frightened them. When they arrived we did not know what to make of our new guests. but to no purpose. I went in the midst of them. that I could have wished to have seen him tied fast to a tree and flogged for his behaviour. A white family. This was something like magic. The clamour immediately ceased. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. They had some thousands of pine apples roasting. and if they did not leave off. I would take the book (pointing to the Bible). The English of this expression is. The drink consisted of pine apples roasted. called in their tongue ‘tourrie’ or ‘dryckbot’. we feasted them plentifully all the day till the evening. getting quite drunk. 140 hh-bb. when the governor. but I had not people enough to cope with his party. when drank in any quantity. I cannot say the sight of either the drink or the meat were enticing to me. and struck one of our most friendly chiefs. and would gladly have dispensed with the honour of their company. and there we saw the whole art of making the drink. read. and becomes so strong as to intoxicate. his hat again. told us how the drink was made. and ‘tell’ God to make them dead. when he was amongst the Indians in Mexico or Peru. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. which. leaving me to do as well as I could among them. grew very unruly.

and went home. One Owden. by immediately joining the women's party. who received us very kindly. and children. and. and they were dancing with music: and the musical instruments were nearly the same as those of any other sable people. women. though not by their choice. the oldest father in the vicinity. and squeezing them with their hands. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. The rainy season came on here about the latter end of May. For food they had many land torpins or tortoises. we took some rum with us. At night there were great illuminations. and it had a most fragrant smell. The alligators were killed and some of them roasted. some dried turtle. I was much surprised at this. but our rum met with customers enough. When the day of the feast was come. in the form of a grenadier's cap. which they burn to coal. 'What does it avail a man if he gain the whole world. Their manner of roasting is by digging a hole in the earth. This merrymaking at last ended without the least discord in any person in the company. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. 141 hh-bb. The Doctor shewed his people the example. so that the rivers were overflowed. and the females also by themselves. although it was made up of different nations and complexions. on which they set the meat. The mirth had begun before we came. as I thought. I had a raw piece of the alligator in my hand: it was very rich: I thought it looked like fresh salmon. but I could not eat any of it. it was Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. though I did not know how to speak to the Doctor for my discharge. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and was soon gone. The word of God saith. which to me were in no wise attracting. and filling it with wood. by setting fire to many pine trees. Our people skipped amongst them out of complaisance. Around his body were skins adorned with different kinds of feathers. The males danced by themselves. On perceiving the women disgusted. Men. which continued till August very heavily. Or GustavusVassa. was dressed in a strange and terrifying form. with prickles like a porcupine. I asked the people what they were going to do with these alligators. They had many curious gestures in dancing. and a variety of motions and postures of their bodies. not a little disgusted at the preparations. I thought this was in some measure a judgment upon us for working on Sundays. he joined the males. All rights are reserved. and then they lay sticks across. and looked exactly like hog-wash. but. and he had on his head a very large and high head-piece. and went to the appointed place. and it hurt my mind very much. while the dryckbot went round merrily by calabashes or gourds: but the liquor might more justly be called eating than drinking. I often wished to leave this place and sail for Europe. and our provisions then in the ground were washed away. as with us. and three large alligators alive. and tied fast to the trees. were thus employed in roasting the pine apples. and I was told they were to be eaten. much less melodious than any other nation I ever knew. though some could not drink of their tourrie. and lose his own soul?' This was much and heavily impressed on my mind.com . where we found a great assemblage of these people. and he made a certain noise which resembled the cry of an alligator. other vessels. for our mode of procedure and living in this heathenish form was very irksome to me.

you are one of St. and said that I came into that vicinity with Dr. and indeed in every respect I consider him as an excellent servant. and cursed the master for a fool that sold me my freedom. not without shedding tears on both sides. therefore. asked me to go in the schooner as a sailor. This account was of no use. has served me several years with strict honesty. and hired some Indians. Gustavus Vassa. the owner of the sloop. Hughes. and. with a volley of oaths and imprecations. on the 18th of June. Then he desired me to go in the schooner. I can. and swore. and fidelity. except you have St. and gave me the following certificate of my behaviour: 'The bearer. with a large canoe. Or GustavusVassa. and render their condition easy. and the doctor for another in letting me go from him. 142 hh-bb. I do hereby certify that he always behaved well.' ‘Musquito Shore. But about the middle of June I took courage enough to ask him for it. All rights are reserved. were very sorry. whom he had seen that day. who was also on board. and abused me very much. and went southward above twenty miles along the river. I was happy when he consented. and. the slaves.’ Though I was much attached to the doctor. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. when they heard of my leaving them. Having agreed for my passage with him and one of the owners. and begged to be put on shore again. he still swore exceedingly at me. and much less could I have expected any thing of this kind amongst Christians. accompanied by the doctor. I told him. All my poor countrymen. 'Christians! Damn you. disagreeable for me to stay any longer. or else I should not go out of the sloop as a freeman. He was very unwilling at first to grant my request. There I found a sloop. to carry me off. and did every thing I could to comfort the poor creatures. with justice recommend him for these qualifications. but I gave him so many reasons for it. Paul's men. The vessel then sailed along the river till night. and that he is perfectly trust-worthy. yet had never seen any such usage with them. sobriety. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. but he swore that I should not. as she was in want of hands.com . I got every thing ready for my departure. the captain of which told me he was going to Jamaica. but by G----. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I said I had been twice amongst the Turks. Having taken leave of my old friends and companions. I said this was very hard. the doctor and I parted. During the night a schooner belonging to the same owners came in. June 15. Irving. as I had always treated them with care and affection. he replied. 1776. I left that spot of the world. He then immediately changed his tone. 'CHARLES IRVING. that at last he consented to my going. This incensed him exceedingly. and said he would give me wages. but I said I wanted to go to Jamaica. and asked how I came to be freed. when she stopped in a lagoon within the same river. I thanked him. named Hughes.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.

when I was not above thirty or forty yards from the vessel. who beat some of them severely at first for not tying me when he commanded them. and swore heavily and dreadfully. This sound gladdened my heart. seeing not one white man on board who said a word on my behalf. The young man that was with me now got out of the canoe. merely because I was a free man. and could not by the law get any redress from a white person in those parts of the world. Cox. who regarded me very highly. and the vessel was getting under way. Or GustavusVassa. I once more cried and begged to be released. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. if I did not come back on board. and hoisted me up without letting my feet touch or rest upon any thing. that my feet might rest on something. and another rope round my body. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and both of them soon got into a very great heat. you shall not go out of the vessel. being fortunately in the way of their hoisting the sails. This they did at the risk of being cruelly used by their master. the vessel was sailing on fast with a Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. without another word. I simply asked him what right he had to sell me? but. whom I knew on board. in a great rage. till between five and six o'clock next morning. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I hung in that manner from between ten and eleven o'clock at night till about one in the morning. but he soon spied me out.com . just as I was alongside he was abusing the captain for letting me go from the vessel. a carpenter. and walk upon the water to the shore. that he would shoot me that instant. My tyrant. when. and without judge or jury. and the good opinion he ever had of me. as the good Lord would have it. I spoke to one Mr. When I was let down. on the impropriety of this conduct. that I was the doctor's steward. On which he desired a young man to put me ashore in a small canoe I brought with me. Peter's faith. and also to each wrist. and now. who cared not what he did. whilst my tyrant was down in the cabin.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. where he swore he would sell me. finding my cruel abuser fast asleep. Thus I hung. he presented it at me. without hesitation. and swore that he would shoot me if I cried any more. As I knew the wretch would have done as he said. Whilst I remained in this condition. and would resent this usage when he should come to know it. Paul's or St. but all in vain. and. I was in great pain from my situation. I therefore remained silent. they released me. 143 hh-bb. which the captain returned. I trust I prayed to God to forgive this blasphemer. I had now no alternative. I begged some of his slaves to slack the rope that was round my body. and told him not to carry me away in that manner. I put back to the vessel again. without any crime committed. he made some of his people tie ropes round each of my ancles. All rights are reserved. When they got up the anchor.' which I now found was going amongst the Spaniards towards Carthagena. running upon the deck with a loaded musket in his hand. This man then went to the captain. brought a musquet out of the cabin. but when he got up out of his sleep in the morning was of the very same temper and disposition as when he left me at night. and loaded it before me and the crew. and I got hastily into the canoe and set off. but. and cried and begged very hard for some mercy. He also knew the doctor.

as I did not know how to help myself among these deceivers. and fortunately the confusion was so great amongst them on board. and load the vessel with it. we were also two nights in the swamps. in the canoe. though used to such tricks. for a voyage of about eighteen miles south. by means of the rope I had hung by the night before. which swarmed with musquito flies. and refreshed me with such things as the place afforded. which I soon reached. I asked for the admiral. who lived near that shore (with whom I had agreed for my passage) of the usage I had met with. I thought patience was the only remedy I had left. to my great joy. and requested him to send the canoe back which I then had. he gave me some refreshment.com . I told the admiral I wanted to go to the next port to get a vessel to carry me to Jamaica. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I was not many days on board before we sailed. Or GustavusVassa. and three heads of roasted Indian corn. though I was much jaded. She was then partly loaded. and I had a hammock to sleep in. and received me kindly. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. though they had been baptized. and he told me he was expecting daily to sail for Jamaica. I was therefore at different times unable to manage the canoe. I was compelled to assist in cutting a great deal of mahogany wood on the shore as we coasted along it. instead of steering for Jamaica. smooth sea: and I then thought it was neck or nothing. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. so that they could not overtake me without tacking: but even before that could be done I should have been on shore. towards the shore. so at that instant I set off again. After treating me with kindness.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. where some of the Indians knew me. and they conducted me to his dwelling. When we got out of the lagoon and went along shore. However. He agreed with me. They acted towards me more like Christians than those whites I was amongst the last night. This tiresome journey of land and water ended. He then directed me to an Indian chief of a district. for my life. He was very much astonished. we went to the southward along the Musquito shore. This fretted me much. All rights are reserved. a little before dark I got to my destined place. to look for another vessel. however. for which I was to pay him. and we set off the next morning. who was also the Musquito admiral. and had pains in my bowels. but. and appeared very sorry for it. that I got out of the reach of the musquet shot unnoticed. and I got on board of a sloop commanded by one Captain Jenning. and they proved troublesome to us. He was glad to see me. but to my sorrow and disappointment. on the third day. I then went and told the other owner. 144 hh-bb. after which I set off with the canoe across a large lagoon alone (for I could not get any one to assist me). for the paddling was very laborious. about fifty miles. and even that was forced. with many thanks to God for this unexpected deliverance. I went to work accordingly. and having agreed with me to work my passage. and had once been at our dwelling. while the vessel sailed on with a fair wind a different way. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. before she sailed. and sent five able Indians with a large canoe to carry my things to my intended place. We were obliged to go ashore and drag across different necks of land. the sea was so high that the canoe was oftentimes very near being filled with water.

when the captain was asleep. which was lying near us. from his situation during the night. what was worst of all. and when the poor man was brought on board he was very ill. and. and went on board of the Indian Queen. Or GustavusVassa. understanding I was a free man. called for her boat. this vessel still went to the south. July the 10th. instead of going to Jamaica. and made two negroes row him to a desolate key. except by good luck we happened to catch turtles. I immediately. commanded by one John Baker. he got the vessel to sail. I got my things into the boat. and promised to give me forty-five shillings sterling a month if I would go with him. as the captain had promised me: and. which is most excellent eating. but he would not listen to me: and. seeing me resolved to go in a day or two. which I believe was the means of saving his life from the annoyance of insects. All rights are reserved. to my great mortification. I thought this much better than cutting wood for nothing. and he loaded two pistols. and was a horrid blasphemer. but. He also was an Englishman. There was not the least doubt but that he would do as he said. where there was a smaller sloop called the Indian Queen. during which. As we sailed southward we came to many uninhabited islands. and it came alongside. On this coast there was also a particular kind of fish called manatee. and. As I was very much in want of provisions. There was much hard work and little victuals on board. Within the brackish waters along shore there were likewise vast numbers of alligators. that he would sail immediately for that island: he also pretended to me some marks of attention and respect. the scales are as large as a shilling. A few days after I was there. after he had beaten this man most cruelly. Among others he had a white pilot. 145 hh-bb. and the skin thicker than I ever saw that of any other fish. we came to another place. One night in particular. which made the fish scarce.com . he put him into the boat.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I was on board this sloop sixteen days. He wanted some hands very much. and had got a good quantity of each on board. or small island. and swore bitterly that he would shoot the negroes if they brought Stoker on board again. This treatment mortified me extremely. by the means of a northpole shipmate which I met with in the sloop I was in. I brought a boat load of them on board. before he would consent to let Stoker come on board. A great deal of entreaty was used with the captain the next day. the two negroes took a blanket and carried it to the unfortunate Stoker. one Stoker. whom he beat often as severely as he did some negroes he had on board. and the flesh is more like beef than fish. I therefore told the other captain that I wanted to go to Jamaica in the other vessel. intending to carry me away against my will. and he remained so till he was drowned a little time after. in our coasting. we got all things ready and sailed: but again. he told me if he could get one or two. nearly as far as Carthagena. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and had been a long time along the shore trading for turtle shells and silver. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. according to an agreement I had made with the captain of the Indian Queen. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and wanted to go to Jamaica. and the two poor fellows were obliged to obey the cruel mandate. which Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. trading along the coast. which were overgrown with fine large cocoa nuts. he was a very cruel and bloody-minded man.

and at the close of the evening I went off the deck. did not attempt to take it from me.' Acts xvii. before this. that obeyeth the voice of his servant. because there was a vessel then in sight coming in. I had been a whole day without food. and set bounds to our habitations. and the following two portions of his holy word. and kept me from taking the life of this wicked man. that walketh in darkness and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord. wicked. unnoticed by him. and then he would vent his fury on me by beating me. I was then at my wit's end. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I was more than an hour in this situation. he got a barrel of gunpowder on the deck. lasted me and others for several weeks. All rights are reserved. 'He hath determined the times before appointed. which had jumped aboard! I took it. I could not help observing the providential hand of God. and stay upon his God. with thanks. and earnestly prayed to God to direct me. Sometimes the people did not come off for some days: this used to fret the captain. I prayed for resignation. who gave me a mind which rested solely on himself. still keeping the fire in his hand for this wicked purpose. and he was afraid of falling into their hands. 146 hh-bb. that his will might be done. which he supposed was a Spaniard. that ever supplies all our wants.com . Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and placed myself between him and the powder. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I therefore earnestly prayed to God for relief in my need. in his wild. though in the ways and manner we know not. after striking me several times with different things. 10. Or GustavusVassa. during which he struck me often. and swore that he would blow up the vessel. but in vain. I went directly on the deck again. there being only him and I on board. and. or making me feel in other cruel ways. for the rest were all gone ashore trading.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and the captain took a lighted stick out of the fire to blow himself and me up. and once across my mouth. and prayed to God. and admired. when what should I see but a fine large fish about seven or eight pounds. not knowing what it meant. buoyed up my hope. who was very avaricious. the good hand of God. which occurred to my mind. 26. I really should have thought myself justifiable in any other part of the world if I had killed him. and. Seeing this I got an axe. and made signals for boats to come off. the captain. even with a red burning stick out of the fire.' Isaiah 1. Just as I laid down I heard a noise on the deck. and mad career. what I considered as not less extraordinary. One day especially. And: 'Who is there amongst you that feareth the Lord. and afforded us many a delicious repast in our scarcity. One day. having resolved in myself as soon as he attempted to put the fire in the barrel to chop him down that instant. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. The head was out of the barrel.

I was for going immediately to see this old master and friend. Cochran. as he was a passenger himself. the taylor got off. for Baker threatened that he would beat me severely if he could catch me for attempting to demand my money. through inhumanity and ill-judged avarice. and begged that he would take me out of the sloop: but he informed me that it was not in his power. but not knowing where to go. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I learned that Doctor Irving was on board of her on his way from the Musquito shore to Jamaica. or how to manage the canoe. how I was treated. and acquainted him of the captain's knavery. I now learned that after I had left the estate which I managed for this gentleman on the Musquito shore. and said my oath could not be admitted against a white man. though indeed I found it to be too much the practice there to pay free men for their labour in this manner. but the captain would not suffer me to leave the vessel. under the protection of Captain Douglas of the Squirrel man of war. They soon came to an anchor where we were. I found him a present help in the time of need. by letter. and the man. that every one got into a large Puriogua canoe. but he sent me some rum and sugar for my own use. On the 14th of October the Indian Queen arrived at Kingston in Jamaica. who was indebted to him some trifling sum. Irving. by means of Dr. Or GustavusVassa. Such oppressions as these made me seek for a vessel to get off the island as fast as I could. to my no small surprise. I then informed the doctor. in consequence of which the doctor's plantation was left uncultivated. I thought this exceedingly hard usage. 147 hh-bb. "That he who cannot stem his anger's tide Doth a wild horse without a bridle ride. they were all drowned. All rights are reserved. and this he would have done. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. a white overseer had supplied my place: this man. and he was now returning to Jamaica to purchase more slaves and stock it again. by the help of a good pair of heels. and the captain's fury began to subside as the night approached: but I found. I found out Doctor Irving upon this. and we went to every magistrate in Kingston (and there were nine). but. The other immediately took a horsewhip to pay him with it. not being able to get his money. but that I got. named Joe Diamond. beat and cut the poor slaves most unmercifully. He did all he could to help me to get my money. and the consequence was. and. One day I went with a free negroe taylor.com . to one Mr. and endeavoured to escape. and by the mercy of God I found a ship in November bound for Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Nor was this all.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. began to murmur. When we were unloaded I demanded my wages. And thus by the grace of God I was enabled to do. although it was the hardest-earned money I ever worked for in my life. but Captain Baker refused to give me one farthing. which amounted to eight pounds and five shillings sterling. during which the slaves were well fed and comfortable. but they all refused to do any thing for me." The next morning we discovered that the vessel which had caused such a fury in the captain was an English sloop.

We had many very heavy gales of wind in our passage. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I was happy once more to tread upon English ground. and some months after my arrival in England I learned. 1777. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. we arrived at Plymouth. in the course of which no material incident occurred. 148 hh-bb. Or GustavusVassa. and. On January the seventh. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. owing to his having eaten some poisoned fish. was captured and set fire to by his Majesty's ship the Squirrel.com . falling in with the fleet. England. after passing some little time at Plymouth and Exeter among some pious friends. All rights are reserved. after having taken a last farewell of Doctor Irving. that this my amiable friend was dead. When I left Jamaica he was employed in refining sugars. whom I was happy to see. when I embarked with a convoy. I went to London with a heart replete with thanks to God for all past mercies. except that an American privateer. with much sorrow.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.

I at first refused going. by whom she had three boys. which I thought so extraordinary. and they were every one mulattoes. All rights are reserved. wished to know of what religion I was. and said that he would. and that whomsoever I found to preach according to that doctrine. but this only excited their mockery. those I would hear. Soon after my arrival in London. Since that period my life has been more uniform. as he thought I might be of service in converting my countrymen to the Gospel faith. and I said I supposed they would serve me worse than Alexander the coppersmith did St. the Governor. if I chose. at least for some time. Paul.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and the incidents of it fewer. get me sent out as a missionary to Africa. understanding that I was of a religious turn. and I was determined not to return to it. In the time of my service. I told him I was a protestant of the church of England. and the fortune I experienced until the year 1777. 149 hh-bb. who had been a considerable time on the coast of Africa. when I attempted (if it were the will of God) to be the means of converting the Indian prince. ‘Different transactions of the author's life till the present time--His application to the late Bishop of London to be appointed a missionary to Africa--Some account of his share in the conduct of the late expedition to Sierra Leona--Petition to the Queen--Conclusion. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. A few days after this. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. that I beg leave just to mention it: A white negro woman. CHAPTER. I therefore hasten to the conclusion of a narrative. that I had formerly seen in London and other parts.com . and continued for the most part in this situation until 1784. In 1779 I served Governor Macnamara. than in any other equal number of years preceding. However. that I became heartily disgusted with the sea-faring life. agreeable to the thirty-nine articles of that church. Or GustavusVassa. and told him how I had been served on a like occasion by some white people the last voyage I went to Jamaica. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and yet they had fine light hair. I had suffered so many impositions in my commercial transactions in different parts of the world. which I fear the reader may think already sufficiently tedious. had married a white man. I saw a remarkable circumstance relative to African complexion. if I should attempt to go amongst Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. I used to ask frequently other servants to join me in family prayers. I therefore once more engaged in service shortly after my return. XII. we had some more discourse on the same subject: the Governor spoke to me on it again.’ Such were the various scenes which I was a witness to.

GUSTAVUS VASSA. ROBERT. unacquainted with the language and customs of the country. in hopes of being able to prevail upon his countrymen to become Christians. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and embraced the Christian faith in the year 1759. for he would apply to the Bishop of London to get me ordained.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. who. Therefore your memorialist humbly prays your Lordship's encouragement and support in the undertaking. He told me not to fear. of reforming his countrymen and persuading them to embrace the Christian religion. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. by their education are qualified to undertake the same. Guthrie's. from the success that has attended the like undertakings when encouraged by the Portuguese through their different settlements on the coast of Africa. Hedge-lane. so. that he may be a means. On these terms I consented to the Governor's proposal to go to Africa. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. 150 hh-bb. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and has a knowledge of the manners and customs of the inhabitants of that country. and are found more proper than European clergymen. ‘Lord Bishop of London’: The MEMORIAL of Gustavus Vassa Sheweth. in order to have me sent out properly. That your memorialist has resided in different parts of Europe for twenty-two years last past. taylor. and your memorialist is the more induced to undertake the same. At Mr. we immediately wrote the following letters to the late Bishop of London: To the Right Reverend Father in God. them in Africa. under God. Or GustavusVassa. That your memorialist is desirous of returning to Africa as a missionary. in hope of doing good if possible amongst my countrymen. Your memorialist's only motive for soliciting the office of a missionary is.com . That your memorialist is a native of Africa. No. 17. if encouraged by your Lordship. and also by the Dutch: both governments encouraging the blacks. All rights are reserved.

Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Your Lordship's Humble and obedient servant. My Lord. MATT. I have resided near seven years on the coast of Africa. 151 hh-bb. I have resided near five years on Senegambia on the coast of Africa. and think the undertaking very laudable and proper. 11th March 1779. Your Lordship's Humble and obedient servant. I know the within named Gustavus Vassa. if countenanced by your Lordship. I do approve of the within plan. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. who had resided in Africa for many years. and at this very time I know a very respectable character a black priest at Cape Coast Castle. My Lord. ‘March 13. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I beg leave further to represent to your Lordship. My Lord. I have the honour to be. From the knowledge I have of the country and its inhabitants. Grove. I am inclined to think that the within plan will be attended with great success. and believe him a moral good man. in which case it must be attended with the intended success. and that it deserves your Lordship's protection and encouragement. and whose sentiments on the subject of an African mission were the same with Governor Macnamara's.com .The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. have met with uncommon success. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Or GustavusVassa. for most part of the time as commanding officer. This letter was also accompanied by the following from Doctor Wallace. My Lord. 1779’. and have had the honour of filling very considerable employments in that province. I am. MACNAMARA. when encouraged by other governments. All rights are reserved. that the like attempts.

With these letters. but the operations there were too minute and uninteresting to make a detail of. While I was in that part of the country I was led to go down into a coal-pit in Shropshire. THOMAS WALLACE. Shortly after this I left the Governor. who are acquainted with Africa. She did us much damage. meeting us right in the teeth. which we did very quickly. When she was ready again for another voyage. for Philadelphia. with whom I was encamped at Coxheath for some time. thinking the surface of the earth the safest part of it. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. entertain of the probability of converting the inhabitants of it to the faith of Jesus Christ.com . and hoist out our boat. In the year 1783 I visited eight counties in Wales. This extraordinary privilege was claimed. In consequence of this I embarked as steward on board a fine new ship called the London. Or GustavusVassa. having nothing on but her shift. I sailed with him from hence in the spring. and about nine o'clock that night the moon shone bright. a woman presented herself. and my Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. while our ship was going free by the wind. from motives of curiosity. the captain being an agreeable man. who was not far from me: upon this I got out as fast as I could. but. and sailed for New-York. My sole motive for thus dwelling on this transaction. He received me with much condescension and politeness. if the attempt were countenanced by the legislature. All rights are reserved. for when we passed by each other. but I believe we did her more. At this time another ship was going nearly as fast as we on the opposite point. and the marriage ceremony was performed. I admired this city very much. at the rate of about four or five miles an hour. We refitted as well as we could the next day. married the man under the gallows. declined to ordain me. to the astonishment and consternation of both crews. Our ship having got laden we returned to London in January 1785. While we lay here a circumstance happened which I thought extremely singular:--One day a malefactor was to be executed on a gallows. and abounds with provisions of all kinds. but my curiosity nearly cost me my life. with a pleasant gale. I waited on the Bishop by the Governor's desire. and buried one poor man. 152 hh-bb. or inserting these papers. it is large and well-built. commanded by Martin Hopkin. and served a nobleman in the Devonshire militia.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. yet none on board observed either ship until we struck each other forcibly head and head. and in about eight minutes we saw no more of her. for while I was in the pit the coals fell in. and proceeded on our voyage. from some certain scruples of delicacy. and presented them to his Lordship. and in May arrived at Philadelphia. but with a condition that if any woman. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. I was very glad to see this favourite old town once more. March 1785. his life was to be saved. On the fifth of April we took our departure from the Land's-end. is the opinion which gentlemen of sense and education. and the sea was smooth. they called to us to bring to. but we had enough to do to mind ourselves. In the spring 1784 I thought of visiting old ocean again.

whose minds are cultivated here and forwarded to virtue. and kind interposition. and presented this address of thanks to the gentlemen called Friends or Quakers.com . could you. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. unwearied labour. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. most earnestly wish and pray for. concerning the Calamitous State of the enslaved Negroes: We the poor. The simple and yet expressive mode used at their solemnizations is worthy of note. if so. Gentlemen. with our inmost love and warmest acknowledgment. sure we are that the God. While in town I chanced once to be invited to a Quaker’s wedding. desire to approach you with this address of thanks. to lighten in any degree the heavy burthen of the afflicted. be the possible means. but which we. as a part of those captived. 153 hh-bb. in some measure. entitled a Caution to Great Britain and her Colonies. and regards the prayers of the oppressed. and always rewards every true act of virtue. pleasure was much increased in seeing the worthy Quakers freeing and easing the burthens of many of my oppressed African brethren. and. needy. whose eyes are ever upon all his creatures. under God. oppressed. no doubt it would. in Gracechurch-Court Lombard-Street: Gentlemen. These gentlemen received us very kindly. and with the deepest sense of your benevolence. By reading your book. of saving the souls of many of the oppressors. towards breaking the yoke of slavery. All rights are reserved. and thus they are made useful members of the community. and much-degraded negroes. will give to you and yours those blessings which it is not in our power to express or conceive. oppressed. Or GustavusVassa. The following is the true form of it: Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Does not the success of this practice say loudly to the planters in the language of scripture--"Go ye and do likewise?" In October 1785 I was accompanied by some of the Africans. and we parted. and too heavy burthened negroes. and to administer a little comfort and ease to thousands and tens of thousands of very grievously afflicted. at last be enabled. and afflicted people. It rejoiced my heart when one of these friendly people took me to see a free-school they had erected for every denomination of black people. with a promise to exert themselves on behalf of the oppressed Africans.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. under God. by perseverance.

and as they seemed to think me qualified to superintend part of the undertaking. having received my warrant and the following order: Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. On my return to London in August I was very agreeably surprised to find that the benevolence of government had adopted the plan of some philanthropic individuals to send the Africans from hence to their native quarter. to some of whom I had the honour of being known. in the fear of the Lord.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. and. I pointed out to them many objections to my going. I take this my friend. to make it worse. who prevailed on me to go. an act which redounded to the honour of all concerned in its promotion. But I thank God I found many friends here. All rights are reserved. and left London in March 1786. whom I desire to be my witnesses. I shipped as a steward in an American ship called the Harmony. I had the honour to subscribe mine to a register in Gracechurch-Court. to be my wife. Captain John Willet. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. and filled me with prayers and much rejoicing. they asked me to go with the black poor to Africa. There was then in the city a select committee of gentlemen for the black poor. and our ship not going immediately to sea. M. and they accordingly appointed me in November 1786 to that office.N. Or GustavusVassa. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. LombardStreet. Then the two first sign their names to the record. bound to Philadelphia. which caused our trip not to succeed well. Eleven days after sailing we carried our foremast away. and gave me sufficient power to act for the government in the capacity of commissary. through divine assistance. We returned to London in August. to be unto her a loving and faithful husband till death separate us:" and the woman makes the like declaration. and as many more witnesses as have a mind. the market for our goods proving bad. promising. and recommended me to the honourable Commissioners of his Majesty's Navy as a proper person to act as commissary for government in the intended expedition. taking each other by the hand in a solemn manner. the man audily declares to this purpose: "Friends. who in some measure prevented him. as I would certainly oppose their traffic in the human species by every means in my power. After the company have met they have seasonable exhortations by several of the members. When I came there they informed me of the intention of government. my commander began to play me the like tricks as others too often practise on free negroes in the West Indies. and. as soon as they heard of my arrival they sent for me to the committee. and that some vessels were then engaged to carry them to Sierra Leone. and in the presence of this assembly. the bride and bridegroom stand up.com . and particularly I expressed some difficulties on the account of the slave dealers. We had a nine weeks passage. 154 hh-bb. However these objections were over-ruled by the gentlemen of the committee. and.

GEO. among many which I could produce. in addition to former orders. whereby there may be a considerable surplus of provisions. after the landing at Sierra Leone. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Irving the surplus provisions remaining of what was provided for the voyage. Commissary of Provisions and Stores for the Black Poor going to Sierra Leone. by our warrant of the 4th of last month. PALMER. as they are called. and as the provisions were laid in at the rate of two months for the voyage. tools. During my continuance in the employment of government. These are. Gustavus Vassa. as well as the provisions for the support of the black poor.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. MARSH. W. to receive into your charge from Mr. I was struck with the flagrant abuses committed by the agent. &c. but the number embarked being so much less than was expected. however. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. to direct and require you to appropriate or dispose of such surplus to the best advantage you can for the benefit of government. Whereas you were directed. And for your guidance in preventing any white persons going. J. may serve as a specimen. By the principal Officers and Commissioners of his Majesty's Navy. January 16. All rights are reserved. Government had ordered to be provided all necessaries (slops. To Mr. and all other articles provided at government's expense. For which this shall be your warrant. and endeavoured to remedy them. Or GustavusVassa. but without effect. we send you herewith a list of those recommended by the Committee for the black poor as proper persons to be permitted to embark. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. included) for 750 persons. 1787. HINSLOW. and acquaint you that you are not to suffer any others to go who do not produce a certificate from the committee for the black poor.com . where I continued till the March following. keeping and rendering to us a faithful account of what you do herein. of their having their permission for it. Dated at the Navy Office. who are not intended to have the indulgences of being carried thither. I proceeded immediately to the execution of my duty on board the vessels destined for the voyage. not being able to muster Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. with the cloathing. One instance. and for four months after the landing. 155 hh-bb. cloathing.

I was ordered to send the superfluous slops. I appeal to the testimony of Capt. of the Nautilus. however unfortunate in the event. By this I suffered a considerable loss in my property: however. more than 426. The motives which might influence any person to descend to Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and accommodated in the manner I have mentioned. at the government expense. whom the agent. moreover. especially the lascars. it appeared they had never been bought. the commissioners were satisfied with my conduct. had deceived by letter.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. their provisions therefore were exhausted before they could derive any benefit from agriculture. but my dismission was soon after procured. when I demanded them for that purpose from the agent. 156 hh-bb. I should not have been so ample in my account of this transaction. Thompson.com . had not the share I bore in it been made the subject of partial animadversion. contrary to the orders I received. and whom. and even left destitute of the necessaries for almost their existence. but. and my countrymen plundered and oppressed. For the truth of this. many of them wanted beds. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. &c. to whom I applied in February 1787 for a remedy. whose constitutions are very tender. nor was its failure owing to government: every thing was done on their part. I do not seek credit from my own assertion. I appeal also to a letter written by these wretched people. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. their accommodations were most wretched. so early as the beginning of the preceding January. and many more cloathing and other necessaries. At that season of the year it is impossible to cultivate the lands. and even brought him to be a witness of the injustice and oppression I complained of. an expedition which. who convoyed us. and wrote to Capt. and wasted by sickness. and published in the Morning Herald of the 4th of that month. conscious of his peculation. But that was not all. signed by twenty of their chiefs. All rights are reserved. Or GustavusVassa. by means of a gentleman in the city. empowered the same agent to receive on board. brought on by want of medicine. a number of persons as passengers. and even my dismission from my employment thought worthy of being made by some a matter of public triumph[X]. should be so wasted by their confinement as not long to survive it. government were not the only objects of peculation. when I had remonstrated to the agent in vain. I therefore informed the Commissioners of the Navy of the agent's proceeding. but there was evidently sufficient mismanagement attending the conduct and execution of it to defeat its success. was humane and politic in its design. they reached Sierra Leone just at the commencement of the rains. cloaths. Thompson. Thus ended my part of the long-talked-of expedition to Sierra Leone. &c. I could not silently suffer government to be thus cheated. and it is not surprising that many. expressing their approbation of it. worn out by treatment. these poor people suffered infinitely more. to the king's stores at Portsmouth. though paid for by government. and much more. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. perhaps not the most mild. they proceeded on their voyage. bedding. and at last. Thus provided. and who had been cooped up in ships from October to June.

whose misrepresentations. he is altogether at a loss to conceive the reasons of your Lordships' having altered the favourable opinion you were pleased to conceive of him. on the 4th of December last. That he accordingly proceeded to the execution of his duty on board of the Vernon. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. by opposing measures of others concerned in the same expedition. March 24. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. HUMBLY SHEWETH. laid the foundation of his Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. by your Lordships' orders. he created a number of enemies. to his great grief and astonishment. I wish to stand by my own integrity. perhaps it is not proper here to inquire into or relate. and not to shelter myself under the impropriety of another. 157 hh-bb. received a letter of dismission from the Honourable Commissioners of the Navy. which tended to defeat your Lordships' humane intentions.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. I drew up a memorial thus: To the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury: The Memorial and Petition of Gustavus Vassa a black Man. a petty contest with an obscure African. and I trust the behaviour of the Commissioners of the Navy to me entitle me to make this assertion. by the Honourable the Commissioners of his Majesty's Navy. and he is the more confirmed in his opinion. That your Lordships' memorialist was. being one of the ships appointed to proceed to Africa with the above poor. Or GustavusVassa. and to put the government to a very considerable additional expense. late Commissary to the black Poor going to Africa. sensible that your Lordships would not proceed to so severe a measure without some apparent good cause. even if its detection were necessary to my vindication.com . he has too much reason to believe. conscious of having acted with the most perfect fidelity and the greatest assiduity in discharging the trust reposed in him. That your memorialist. because. but I thank Heaven it is not. for after I had been dismissed. and to seek gratification by his depression. he therefore has every reason to believe that his conduct has been grossly misrepresented to your Lordships. That. All rights are reserved. appointed to the above employment by warrant from that board. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details.

he. and in other expenses arising out of his situation. 1787. trusting that the Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. in addition to the mortification of having been removed from his employment. He has had the misfortune to have sunk a considerable part of his little property in fitting himself out. and unaided by the advantages of a liberal education. Or GustavusVassa. he can only hope for redress from the justice of his cause. May 12. amounting to 32l. which is most humbly submitted. if it be found that his dismission arose from false representations. sterling--that is. and that you will be pleased to order payment of the above referred-to account. and also the wages intended. Your Majesty's well known benevolence and humanity emboldens me to approach your royal presence. Certainly the sum is more than a free negro would have had in the western colonies!!! * * * * * March the 21st. Your memorialist will not trouble your Lordships with a vindication of any part of his conduct. 158 hh-bb. 4s. because he knows not of what crimes he is accused. in the space of some few months afterwards.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. 1788. All rights are reserved. and the advantage which he reasonably might have expected to have derived therefrom. I had the honour of presenting the Queen with a petition on behalf of my African brethren. however. and. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. London. dismission. Your petitioner therefore humbly prays that your Lordships will take his case into consideration. Unsupported by friends. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. which was received most graciously by her Majesty[Y]: To the Queen's most Excellent Majesty. without hearing. earnestly entreats that you will be pleased to direct an inquiry into his behaviour during the time he acted in the public service. to order me 50l. who were kind enough.com . wages for the time (upwards of four months) I acted a faithful part in their service. The above petition was delivered into the hands of their Lordships. Madam. he is confident that in your Lordships' justice he shall find redress. an account of which he here annexes. 18l. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted.

so shall your Majesty enjoy the heartfelt pleasure of procuring happiness to millions. and every fulness of joy which divine revelation has promised us in the next. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. and that they may be raised from the condition of brutes. and they are now deliberating on its redress. The oppression and cruelty exercised to the unhappy negroes there. I am your Majesty's most dutiful and devoted servant to command. have at length reached the British legislature. and the Royal Family. All rights are reserved. to the rights and situation of freemen. I presume. And may the all-bountiful Creator shower on your Majesty. in favour of the wretched Africans. Your Majesty's reign has been hitherto distinguished by private acts of benevolence and bounty. sensible that it is as impolitic as it is unjust--and what is inhuman must ever be unwise. who groan under the lash of tyranny in the West Indies. my sufferings. are in a measure forgotten. and admitted to partake of the blessings of your Majesty's happy government. to which they are at present degraded.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Or GustavusVassa. although numerous. by your Majesty's benevolent influence. have petitioned parliament against its continuance. to implore your interposition with your royal consort. even several persons of property in slaves in the West Indies. and of their posterity. a period may now be put to their misery. 159 hh-bb. Gustavus Vassa. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. surely the more extended the misery is. gracious Queen. and be rewarded in the grateful prayers of themselves. therefore. The Oppressed Ethiopean. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Yet I do not solicit your royal pity for my own distress. obscurity of my situation will not prevent your Majesty from attending to the sufferings for which I plead.com . I supplicate your Majesty's compassion for millions of my African countrymen. the greater claim it has to your Majesty's compassion. every blessing that this world can afford. and the greater must be your Majesty's pleasure in administering to its relief. that. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd.

--May the time come--at least the speculation to me is pleasing--when the sable people shall gratefully commemorate the auspicious aera of extensive freedom. and the new act of amendment now in agitation there. to speak more seriously to every man of sentiment. liberty. contain a proof of the existence of those charges that have been made against the planters relative to the treatment of their slaves. Then shall those persons[Z] particularly be named with praise and honour. and the dignity of their stations: they are ends suitable to the nature of a free and generous government. liberty. It is a pursuit of substantial greatness. These are concerns which do not perhaps belong to any particular office: but. 'Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?' Job xxx.' May the blessings of the Lord be upon the heads of all those who commiserated the cases of the oppressed negroes. 8. to every soul of man that worketh good. and brought to the ear of the legislature designs worthy of royal patronage and adoption. No. who generously proposed and stood forth in the cause of humanity. All rights are reserved. I hope to have the satisfaction of seeing the renovation of liberty and justice resting on the British government. (because to them the Gospel is preached) and also to the nations. 25. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. though remote. and goodwill to men:--Glory.' 'It is righteousness exalteth a nation. and the wicked shall fall by their own wickedness. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. Or GustavusVassa. &c. and good policy. 'Those that honour their Maker have mercy on the poor. 53. a reversion. They can say with pious Job. and the fear of God prolong their days. to the uttermost parts of the earth: then will be glory to God on the highest. is coveted by some noble minds as a substantial good. but sin is a reproach to any people. on earth peace. to the Britons first. and science. honour. Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and by liberal things shall stand. connected with views of empire and dominion. and. destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. These are designs consonant to the elevation of their rank.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. May Heaven make the British senators the dispersers of light. 160 hh-bb.com .' Isaiah xxxii. and may their expectations be filled with gladness! 'The liberal devise liberal things. It is upon these grounds that I hope and expect the attention of gentlemen in power. made by the assembly of Jamaica last year. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. Baldwin's Gardens. suited to the benevolence and solid merit of the legislature. peace. actions like these are the just and sure foundation of future fame. * * * * * The negro consolidated act. to vindicate the honour of our common nature.

The supposition is most obvious. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. the hidden treasures of centuries will be brought to light and into circulation. enterprize. The manufacturing interest and the general interests are synonymous. and mining. drags.com . In proportion to the civilization. iron muzzles. In a word. in the nature and reason of things.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. As the inhuman traffic of slavery is to be taken into the consideration of the British legislature. 161 hh-bb. and. is much easier conceived than calculated. have a full and constant employ by supplying the African markets. It will be equally immense in Africa--The same cause. manners. nearly twice as large as Europe. The difference between their forefathers and the present generation. scourges. are practised upon the poor slaves with impunity. customs. &c. civilization. as to the value. the bowels and surface of Africa. murder. and as such the nation's at large. the demand for manufactures would most rapidly augment. &c. In a short time one sentiment alone will prevail. The abolition of slavery. is literally infinite. The wear and tear of a continent. and to all which the slave trade is an objection. A case in point. I doubt not. Industry. it is most substantially their interest and advantage. If I am not misinformed. as the native inhabitants will insensibly adopt the British fashions. uniting in the cause. for reasons which will soon appear. as I have already stated. I hope the slave trade will be abolished. it lays open an endless field of commerce to the British manufactures and merchant adventurer. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. which is totally and diametrically opposite to what some interested people assert. The great body of manufacturers. The abolition of slavery would be in reality an universal good. (except those persons concerned in the manufacturing neck-yokes. Tortures. and other instruments of torture used in the slave trade). cats. collars. chains. The manufacturers of this country must and will. will give a most rapid extension of manufactures. It is trading upon safe grounds. hand-cuffs. and every other imaginable barbarity and iniquity. Population. so diabolical. abound in valuable and useful returns. from motives of Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. in point of consumption. and coffins. leg-bolts. I pray it may be an event at hand. thumb-screws. All rights are reserved. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. if not superior.--It cost the Aborigines of Britain little or nothing in clothing. Or GustavusVassa. proportionably as they civilize. if a system of commerce was established in Africa. so will be the consumption of British manufactures. will have their full scope. and rich in vegetable and mineral productions. to the landed interest. will considerably facilitate and expedite it. A commercial intercourse with Africa opens an inexhaustible source of wealth to the manufacturing interests of Great Britain. will ever have the same effect. viz. the manufacturing interest is equal.

If any incident in this little work should appear uninteresting and trifling to most readers. I am far from the vanity of thinking there is any merit in this narrative: I hope censure will be suspended. of a continent ten thousand miles in circumference. happy in themselves. unless by its observation we become better and wiser. and learn 'to do justly. the Reverend James Ramsay. &c. and to walk humbly before God?' To those who are possessed of this spirit. the Reverend Thomas Clarkson. 1787. If the blacks were permitted to remain in their own country.] [Footnote Y: At the request of some of my most particular friends. Esq. when it is considered that it was written by one who was as unwilling as unable to adorn the plainness of truth by the colouring of imagination. &c. that almost every event of my life made an impression on my mind and influenced my conduct. July 14. glorious. Refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. a consideration this of no small consequence to the manufacturing towns of Great Britain. there is scarcely any book or incident so trifling that does not afford some profit. to expend 5l. are an honour to their country. Query--How many millions doth Africa contain? Supposing the Africans. while to others the experience of ages seems of no use. a head in raiment and furniture yearly when civilized. and in this light every circumstance I have related was to me of importance. The African by Himself Reproduction & duplication of this work for FREE is permitted. to love mercy. I can only say. an immensity beyond the reach of imagination! This I conceive to be a theory founded upon facts. and benefactors to mankind!] END Copyright © 2008 Hogarth Blake Ltd. and therefore an infallible one. and my adventures various. and even to pour out to them the treasures of wisdom is throwing the jewels of instruction away. our approved friends. they would double themselves every fifteen years. All rights are reserved. Europe contains one hundred and twenty millions of inhabitants. ornamental to human nature. men of virtue. In proportion to such increase will be the demand for manufactures. Please refer to the terms & conditions page for more details. I take the liberty of inserting it here. I have only therefore to request the reader's indulgence and conclude. collectively and individually. 162 hh-bb. Even those I have related are considerably abridged.com . My life and fortune have been extremely chequered. interest as well as justice and humanity. It opens a most immense. Cotton and indigo grow spontaneously in most parts of Africa. and happy prospect-the clothing. and immensely rich in productions of every denomination in return for manufactures. as my excuse for mentioning it.] [Footnote Z: Grenville Sharp. and to learn from it a lesson of morality and religion. After all. FOOTNOTES: [Footnote X: See the Public Advertiser. what makes any event important.The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Or GustavusVassa. I early accustomed myself to look for the hand of God in the minutest occurrence.

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